Look at the numbers – GOP Enthusiasm Down
February 15th, 2012
• Republican enthusiasm in the 2012 primaries is down. Nearly half a million fewer people are participating in this year’s nominating contest to date as opposed to GOP participation in 2008.
• Based on data (exit/entrance polls and raw votes cast in GOP primaries/caucuses) from IA, NH, SC, FL, and NV (all GOP primaries thus far except for ME, MO, MN, and CO): Republican participation in the 2012 GOP nominating process is down 198,725 (or 9.1%), from 2,174,033 in 2008 to 1,975,308 in 2012. Independent participation in the 2012 GOP nominating process is up 79,582 (or 15.5%), from 513,662 in 2008 to 593,244 in 2012.
• In Iowa, Republicans made up 75% of the GOP caucus attendees this year, but in 2008 they were 86%. While the GOP caucus turnout was up about 3,000 from 2008, 11,000 fewer Republicans caucused this year. Any caucus turnout surge in Iowa was from Independents.
• Voter registration in Iowa is also telling. In the last 2 months of 2011, Independent registration in Iowa was up 4,722, while Republican registration was up only 2,087. In the last 2 months of 2007, Democratic registration was up 5100, virtually mirroring Independents in 2011.
• In New Hampshire 47% of the GOP primary participants were Independents this year as opposed to only 37% in 2008. In the last 4 months of 2011, Independent registration increased by 3,468 while Republican registration fell by 406 and Democratic registration fell by 1,658.
• In Maine, turnout for the GOP caucuses was 160 more than in 2008. However, Romney captured 654 fewer votes in 2012–dropping from 2844 in 2008 to 2190 in 2012.