Let us be quantitative and empirical. I do not care who you like or dislike for the Presidency. I simply want to focus on some data points and what they mean for the November 2020 election if we continue to see a similar pattern.
I will start with the debacle in Iowa. An old, dear friend who lives in Clarion, Iowa (about an hour north of Des Moines) attended the local caucus two weeks ago and voted for Trump. More than 150 Trump supporters showed up for a non-contested caucus. Meanwhile, in the same building the Democrats also assembled. The media wanted you to believe that Democrat enthusiasm was at a boiling point. A blue Tidal forming that would swamp Donald Trump. Well, only 34 Democrat supporters showed up in Clarion. Republicans in a non-contested race outnumbered the Dems by a 4 to 1 ratio.
The total voters for the Democrat 2020 caucus in Iowa for the final tally was 172,669. This is almost the same number of voters who turned out in 2016 when Hillary and Bernie were battling it out–171,109. That is about 70,000 less than the enthused crowds that turned out in 2008 for the Hillary versus Obama showdown. Not much enthusiasm in Iowa.
So we turn to New Hamshire. At least here we had a vote. But the dynamics for 2020 are quite different from 2016 and 2008. The Democrats had a contested primary and turned out about the same number of voters that showed up for the Obama/Clinton contest in 2008. However, the number is not as good as it appears. The Republican contest, once again, was uncontested. Under New Hampshire rules Republicans keen on meddling in the Democrat primary can crossover and vote for a Democrat. Many did.
More than 296,000 Democrat votes were cast in New Hampshire. This exceeded the 287,542 that voted for Obama and Hillary in 2008. However, there are more eligible voters today than in 2008. 29% of the electorate voted in the Democrat primary in 2008 while only 26% voted this go round. In addition, there is no precise figure for the number of Republicans and Independents who crossed over to “play” in the Democratic primary. While the total numbers were up, the enthusiasm on the Democrat side was still less that 2008.
It also is worth noting that Trump set a new record for the number of votes received by an uncontested incumbent. He doubled the results of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
The bottomline is this: the weak Democrat field is not generating much enthusiasm. Will this continue to be the case?
We will keep tracking results event by event.
Originally published on Sic Semper Tyrannis. Republished by permission.
Picture by Phil Roeder from Des Moines, IA, USA – Des Moines Precinct 61, CC BY 2.0, Link. Picture cropped.