4 Theories On Why The Republican Primary Turnouts Have Been So Low



This post originally appeared at The Week.Mitt Romney handily won the Nevada GOP presidential caucuses on Saturday, taking 50 per cent of the votes and all but three counties. However, only about 33,000 people caucused — 10,000 fewer than four years ago, and about half the number state Republicans were predicting. The disappointing turnout follows underwhelming Republican participation in Iowa, New Hampshire, and especially Florida. Aren’t Republican voters supposed to be “fired up to dispose of the Obama presidency?” asks Ed Rogers at The Washington Post. Maybe not. Here, four explanations for the GOP’s lagging turnout:

1. GOP voters are disappointed with the candidates
Democrats voted in their primaries and caucuses in record numbers in 2008 because they had “two candidates with fervent support,” says Carter Eskew at The Washington Post. This year’s shrinking GOP numbers “support the general consensus that the field is weak,” and Republicans are reacting with a “curious” indifference. “There’s a lot of people not satisfied with any of the candidates out there,” said one of those candidates, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), on Sunday. “And that’s why in many ways we’re seeing a lower turnout right now.”

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