Numbers tell stories. Beginning with the Iowa caucuses one set of numbers has repeatedly stood out. Again so in yesterday's Nevada and South Carolina primary activity. See if you can pick that one set of numbers out....
Democratic Party officials estimated their statewide turnout topped 116,000, while Republicans put their numbers at about 45,000.
More than 120,000 Democrats — nearly one-third of all of Nevada's registered Democrats and 10 times the number of Nevadans who participated in 2004 — showed up at 520 precincts around the state. This marks the first year Nevada has held an early presidential contest.
About 116,000 Democrats, 28 percent of all Nevada's registered Democrats, showed up at 520 precincts around the state. The previous record for a Democratic caucus was nearly 9,000 who turned out for the 2004 presidential race.
More than 44,000 Republicans, 11 percent of registered GOP voters, were on hand at 113 precincts. The most the Nevada GOP had drawn to a presidential caucus before was 2,000 to 3,000 voters, according to party officials.
In 2000 McCain took 237,888 votes in South Carolina. Tonight he has just over half those number of votes with 134,474 as I write this. Republican turnout will be well below where it was in 2000. More than 100,000 votes short. With five Republican primaries, Rudy Giuliani has half the number of votes of Ron Paul. Link
Hillary won Nevada's caucus popular vote by about 5%, but Obama received one more delegate...13...to Hillary's 12. Basically a draw.
In Nevada, what percentage of the registered Democrats in the state came out and caucused? 28% Now, what percentage of registered Republicans did so? 11%
In South Carolina, not only did the winner, John McCain, receive less than half the primary votes he did in 2000, 100,000 fewer Republican primary voters turned out. While it's true McCain squeaked out a slim 2-3% win over Huckabee, it's also true that with South Carolinian registered Republican voters Huckabee beat McCain by 1%.
What does all this mean? Hell-if-I-know.
Looks like the Democrats are down to a two person race. Two very strong and popular potential presidents. South Carolina will probably go to Obama,.....but on February 5th.....Super-whatever-the-hell-Tuesday....it's still anyone's guess.
The Republicans, on the other hand, are kind of still messed up. Depending on what happens in Florida with Mr. 9-11.....the GOP could have four frontrunners by Feb 5th.
Just like in Iowa and New Hampshire.....MANY MORE DEMOCRATS are turning out to vote for Democratic candidates than they did 4 or 8 years ago...and that excitement is not even close to being matched by Republican primary voter numbers.
Does that mean anything? I think, at this point, it only means that Democrats are more enthusiastic about their candidates and that they can hardly wait to be rid of Bush/Cheney. Does the markedly greater percentage turnout of Democratic voters in these early primaries, compared against their counterparts, mean Democrats will win the presidency in November? No, not necessarily.
However, if you are a Republican hopeful, does the fact that record numbers of Democrats are showing up in these early primaries, numbers that are exponentially higher than Republican voters, present a reason to be concerned?
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