Thursday, January 03, 2008


One of the big stories tonight is the huge difference in turnout between the Democrats and Republicans. The Iowa Dems are reporting that 218,000 people showed up for their caucuses. That shatters the record from 2004 when about 120,000 people caucused for the Democrats. Even more surprising is the gap between the Democrats and Republicans. All the Republican precincts haven't reported, but my guess is that about 100,000 to 110,000 people will caucus with the Republicans. That's about half the number for the Democrats. In comparison, in 2000 (the last time both parties had competitive races), there were 86,000 Republican caucus-goers and only 61,000 Democrats. If this enthusiasm gap is replicated in other states and continues until November, the Republicans should be very nervous.

Update: It now looks like Democratic turnout was around 236,000 and GOP turnout was 116,000. Wow. Put is this way, Barack Obama's 38 percent adds up to about 90,000 votes. That's more than the total GOP vote in 2000 and pretty close to the total GOP vote this year.

Update II: The new number is 239,000. Double wow.


Chris D. said...

Of course, 100-110K Republican turnout shows some boost over 2000. I don't know if that can be attributed solely to A) the large number of candidates running, B) a sort of reflected enthusiasm picked up from the Democratic energy, or C) a glimmer of hope that there's still some fight within GOP ranks. I'm sure you can crunch the numbers and figure it out.

Philip Klinkner said...

I saw some report that the number of evangelicals in the Republican caucuses doubled. That's probably a function, in part, of the Huckabee campaign. In general, political interest and participation has increased in both parties, but the increase is much, much greater on the Republican side. Also, it looks like independents were much more likely to show up in the Democratic caucuses.