Jan 04 2008

Record Turnout In Iowa, But Dems Slaughtered The GOP In Shear Numbers

Published by at 8:30 am under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions

Addendum Below

It seems I may have been right about the mood of the country – it wants change in DC. And I still think it wants to reject the hyper-partisans on both sides and is heading towards the middle of the political spectrum. Obama has a really slick centrist pitch. I don’t believe half he says out of experience with Dems, but that means nothing. I did not believe Reagan meant what he said either – and left the Democrat party when I found out he was serious and his detractors were making up wild and baseless claims.

But my personal ancient history is not the point, Obama sounds centrist and he drew the numbers to prove that out. Edwards was the far left candidate and he tied Clinton (another far left candidate) for second. And looking again at the GOP side, you add up the tallies for Romeny, McCain, Giuliani and you get a number much larger than Huckabee’s numbers. I can never decide whether to put Thompson in the moderate category or not, but if you do add him in the centrist vote swamped the GOP race as well.

What is a concern is the massive increase in participation on the Dem side, they nearly doubled their numbers, while the GOP only saw a small (yet record setting) increase in support of the caucuses:

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Iowa Democratic Party officials reported 234,000 caucus attendees, compared to 124,000 in 2004. With 93 percent of GOP precincts reporting, 112,349 Republicans had participated in their caucus, up from the 87,666 who participated in 2000.

Let me put those into percentage increases for folks, even though they come from two different election cycles. The dems increased turn out by a whopping 89% in 4 years, while the GOP increased theirs by only 28% in 8 years. We don’t have GOP numbers from 2004 because they did not hold caucuses, but the numbers are pathetic. If you average the increase over the period you see 22%/year increase for the dems and 3.5%/year for the GOP. Of course this shift did not happen across all the years equally, but the numbers are still disturbing.

But here is another number that is also worrisome: in a state which is something like 95% white the GOP turn out was a measly 48% that of the democrats. That is not a 50-50 split. That is a 30-60 split, with the GOP on the losing side. Given the GOPs abysmal record with minorities, added to a probable minority nominee by the Dems, the GOP is in a world of hurt. And they limp out of Iowa at each others’ throats – as Ed Rollins so aptly demonstrated on Fox News last night.

Here’s the problem, nobody allies with people who denigrate them over differences of opinions. You call people RINO’s they go someplace else where they are welcome and respected. Michael Savage was just lick-spittle ranting last night about the ‘cretins’ who support comprehensive immigration reform. Malkin calls those of us who prefer the President’s solution to long term illegal aliens drag queen open borders types (even though the subject of long term illegals is distinct from the border issues and everyone wants tighter borders – classic distraction game). What is the result of all the anger on the right? Purity over unity, which produces minority. These numbers should worry conservatives.

Bin Laden is still popping Champaign in is cave today, because he knows those who would appease him are heading into office and those who want to destroy him are self-destructing as a driving force in America. I never understood the logic that said “let the appeasers win, because I am the better conservative on national security and terrorism”. And I bet Bin Laden is wondering what the hell is happening too. But he is probably planning his resurgence and could care less to why conservatives felt they could destroy their governing coalition on the brink of his defeat.

Addendum: I am beginning to wonder if the GOP is going to attempt to ignore the magnitude of these numbers. A 2-1 edge in turnout for the Dems this year in Iowa. An enormous leap in turnout for the dems over the last couple of election cycles – on the order of 7 times greater over the GOP.

I would have assumed this would be the biggest news of today. In a state that was one of only two to switch to the GOP in 2004 it amazing to see this kind of increase in shear numbers on the Dem side. It has to be a huge warning sign to the GOP that it could be in much worse trouble than in 2006. But I have yet to see any discussions on this in the blogosphere or news – except from Andrew Sullivan who strangely blames the moderate Bush for the hard turn right of the GOP. Very strange indeed.

Addendum: One more point. Like all good theories this one can be tested, and will be in NH and 48 other states. If the trend continues then the GOP will understand what it did to itself. But also note I find it interesting that the bigger states like FL and CA are trending to Rudy – to the center. So I am pretty comfortable in my analysis – at the moment. But things can change (and they can get worse). We shall see Tuesday.

25 responses so far

25 Responses to “Record Turnout In Iowa, But Dems Slaughtered The GOP In Shear Numbers”

  1. Terrye says:

    I think the vote last night showed that the people of Iowa are tired of the chattering class telling them how to vote.

    We will have to see if means anything beyond that.

    I don’t even know if Osama is alive, much less popping corks. We fought a Cold War with the Soviets for decades, with both parties in office…this war may well be the same kind of conflict.

  2. Terrye says:

    We have to remember that AJ, this war will go one for a long long time. Sooner or later in that time a Democrat will probably be in the White House.

  3. AJStrata says:


    The problem is now is the worst time – because the dems are now running openly on surrender. And sorry, they are not the better option. They are winning because the GOP is letting them.

  4. lurker9876 says:

    While the lower turnout on the GOP side in Iowa is a concern, I’m hoping that this won’t be the trend for the rest of the country AND the real elections. I’m hoping this will jar many more Republicans and Independents to realize that they need to come out and vote. I’m wondering if they are having a hard time deciding which candidate to vote but not happy with any of them.

    I still cannot decide which one to vote. When my primaries come up, I’m afraid that when I come to the voting booth, I will still be undecided.

  5. AJStrata says:


    But at least you are showing up! Those differences are just overwhelming. Even if the rest of the country was only a half or a third of those numbers the GOP would swept away.

    Yeah, it’s time to get serious. Purity or Unity?

  6. TomAnon says:

    Get Out The Vote! (GOTV) and orginizational strength, that is what Karl Rove acceled at. There really is only one big result from Iowa that will count, the Democrats GOTV effort was very, very impressive. This kind of turnout if realized in the General Election gives veto proof majorities in both Houses and the Executive office to the Dems and the SurrenderMedia. Add two SCOTUS nominations as well. Conservatism will be set back decades and may never recover as the electorate will realize they can and must vote themselves the Treasury and the GDP of this Country.

    You all want that?

    Is your selfish purity snit worth that kind of damage?

    Then again, I really do not see how the Republicans can recover, no matter who is nominated.

    Note: Do not stand under any windows below a Hillary Campaign HQ. I am thinking some people are going to be jumping before the “Broom” lands and the Queen arrives. What an incoherent, bland strategy she has….

  7. lurker9876 says:

    TomAnon, I thought that I recently read that we’re seeing a new trend in the increasing number of voter registration among the Republicans.

    Hugh Hewitt points out an increasing number of Evangelical Christians in voter registrations between this year v. 2000 or 2004. Check his post.

    So, if Hugh’s point proves true, then that would make the elections in November perhaps one of the most interesting ones in addition to 2000.

    Some of us thought most of last year that Hillary was inevitable for the US presidency but now it doesn’t look like she is. The point is don’t make the Republicans’ lack of recovery an inevitable one yet.

  8. MerlinOS2 says:


    You may be reading to much into the early tea leaves. Like lurker said it’s more like people on the right still can’t commit to any of the candidates in a big way except for the who knows how long peak by Huck. There is more talk than you want to admit to about Fred as the compromise better to have than the warts unwanted on the rest of the field. It shows not only in the turnout but also in the money gap between the two parties until the primaries get settled out.

    Iowa has been turning blue and yes they are growing but the bottom line is they can with 10 or 20 to 1 in that state and they still only get the same number of electoral votes if they win by 1 or 1 million.

    Some of what you are seeing is the conservative side seeing even the middle, but especially the middle left learners are where the far left only dreamed of being not to long ago.

    They want to be inclusive, but even they are only willing to stretch the tent so far.

    You are right, the election outcome is important, but selling out your values to get a victory is a shallow win indeed and if you have to go way far afield to achieve it the other side already has won.

  9. gwood says:

    The difference in turnout could possibly be due to one simple thing: avid anti-Hillary sentiment. She affects people viscerally, once they experience her up close and personal. I think Obama and Edwards both benefited from the “anybody but Hillary” syndrome. Just imagine how this would manifest itself in a general election!

  10. TomAnon says:

    Merlin and Lurker you learn only one thing from Iowa. The DEMs have a Superior GOTV organization now, in Iowa. Since the Republican revolution in 1994 the DEMS have been way behind in GOTV. They learned after 2000 and 2004 and have made tremendous improvements. I predict a similar imbalance in NH as in Iowa. Primaries are an exercise in growing campaign competency. Right now just looking a the metrics of funding, organization and voter outreach the DEMS are way ahead.

  11. MerlinOS2 says:

    On another note , just saw over at NewsBusters the euroweenies belive they should vote in our elections.



    Liberal Europeans Demand Right to Vote in U.S. Elections

    American presidential elections are not “home affairs.” American decisions have repercussions all over the globe. The American mortgage crisis affects banks in Europe. The insatiable American demand for oil makes the Arabian sheiks rich. The American refusal to care for the environment causes the North Pole ice to melt and coastal areas in Asia to flood. A weakened dollar and an immense budget deficit affect the global economy.

    Hence, the world should be given the right to vote. Because the current situation is a blatant case of taxation without representation, against which the Americans rebelled in 1776. But of course the world will not be allowed to vote. The best we can hope for is that the Americans choose a leader who is deeply aware of the U.S.’s responsibility, as a superpower, for the rest of mankind.

    The international community was able to limit America’s hegemony somewhat through organisations for international consultation, agreements and the corresponding judicial apparatus. But that system is in crisis, partly through the actions of the current American president.

  12. Sort of funny to watch AJ jamming square pegs into round holes so his theory about the radicals will sound plausible.

    Just spent some quality time on Osama/Obama’s site and describing him as a moderate shows me that AJ has a career as a spindoctor. He is NOT moderate about the war. He is as far left as you can get. He is not moderate about the enviroment he is as far left as it gets. When Kucinich drops out of the race he will endorse Obama/Osama.

    Huckabee is not a moderate either…how anyone can describe a person who is a preacher and an absolutel darling of the most radical wing of the Republican party a moderate is beyond me. Evangelicals are not moderate.

    McCain is moderate and yes I will stay home in November if he should win the nomination. Why? Because moderate Republicans have done far more damage to our freedoms than any Democrats elected. Witness Nixon that collection of destruction of liberty. Guiliani I may vote for…Thompson I enthusiastically support.

  13. AJStrata says:


    I see Obama as a liberal – but he is attracting moderates. Clearly he is not as liberal as Edwards. And I do not see Huckabee as a moderate but the focus of the “anybody but a centrist” wing of the GOP.

    What is clear is those appealing to the center (either for real or as a cover) are the top vote getters in total combined numbers.

  14. owl says:

    Hope you are right AJ. Obama has run one of the smartest campaigns to date……….just goes to show………because when you dig, he still reminds me of a little kid.

    What I still can’t believe is how many just ignored him. I called him The Voice from 2004 and told all that this Voice had some big backer spending money, way back in 2004. Much too early to be spending and running “The Voice”. I thought it was Hillary building her ticket until Clinton’s boy Richardson got in and Obama started coming straight at her.

    He still could not have gained traction except the DNC’s MSM gave him a free ride.

    The best the Pugs could hope for was a Hillary vs Rudy. Rudy stood a shot at winning against Hill if the Pugs had united over the job of the President, instead of all the issues that he does not control.

    Terrye, I usually agree with a lot of yours and AJ’s opinions. But I draw the line on Minister Nasty. Huckabee is Slick but he is also The View’s Joy Behar. Just plain Nasty as he smiles and jokes his way through. Obama is not Nasty……just so lefty it hurts. Did you hear Rev Nasty do his digs even last night?

    While I am on the rant, may I just say that Rev Nasty also reminds me of Typhoid Malkin. Smart. Talented. Pure poison for the GOP. It does not matter if she ‘supports the troops’. Her results will be no different than a Pelosi or Reid when she puts all three spots into their hands. Typhoid Malkin and her posse have lead even rational important blog voices to go over the edge on their individual issues.

    Rev Nasty is a pure MSM production. The DNC’s MSM gave us this guy and they have not been driving the bus all these years for nothing. Everything you said about why the voters did as they did is correct………I understand and ditto. The MSM delivered. They chose last night’s winner. The idiots that wanted their fanasty bought it.

    The MSM delivered blow after blow to Rudy. They are still verrrry good. Then they did what they are the best at………The Silence. Their most effective weapon is the Silence. It is a killer. It is the thing that allows the DNC to survive and fool my Dem friends. It is pure power. Witness the body blow to Hillary.

  15. VinceP1974 says:

    I saw this on another blog comments:

    “Christians actually voted against Huckabee –with 54% splitting their support among Romney, McCain, Thompson and Ron Paul. Yes, Huckabee’s 46% of Evangelicals was a strong showing, but it was directly comparable to his commanding 40% of women, or 40% of all voters under the age of 30, or 41% of those earning less than $30,000 a year. His powerful appeal to females, the young and the poor make him a different kind of Republican, who connects with voting blocs the GOP needs to win back. He’s hardly the one-dimensional religious candidate of media caricature”.

  16. Owl as to “Reverend Nasty” I have to disagree. I suppose from the side of the Huckabee camp I am not sure where this MSM freeride cam from.

    On a side note the conservative press was just horrid to Huckabee. I don’t know why I am always on the wrong side of the Conservative press in the big issues However attempting to get a fair shake from them was all when I was champion Comp Immigration reform, A sane view of the Dubai Terminal Controversy, or Harriet Miers. Pretty much ignored as well as my allies in that fight. By the way in this illuminating piece a former Huckabee staffer goes into it inthe section:
    The Mainstream Media Ain’t So Bad

    We at times got a some fairness with the MSM but it was nothing compared to the The Corner Crowd which was on a witch hunt.

    Further, I hope we all can all tone this down a notch. In the end we shall come together. If Huckabee does not make it his folks will go someone else. We need them to stay in the GOP. I don’t see them going to Rudy. However Huckabee and a few of his supporters are laying the ground work to move the Huckabee camp to John McCain if Huckabee fades.

    Let us not lose the forest for th trees here. Aj’s main point on this post is correct and concerning. I would like to think that the numbers would have been much bigger if Rudy, McCain , and THompson had been more active in Iowa. However I can’t fool myself. Even if they were I can’t see a massive increase that would come anywhere close to bridging the divide.

  17. WWS says:

    I don’t see any reason to read too much into this primary except for the way Hillary took a beating she didn’t expect. Huckabee did a great tactical job of organizing in Iowa – good for him, but I doubt it will last much longer. He’s just not a 50-state candidate. Romney is probably gone, but I was never all that impressed with him anyways. To me, he’s always seemed more style than substance. Giuliani’s strategy of not wasting money and time in Iowa is looking like a good bet for him. Obama as the anti-Hillary is far weaker than he appears, there’s just no substance there and it will show up as time goes on. So what’s to fret about?

  18. Terrye says:


    My point is that people voted for Huckabee because they like him. I do not want to see Republicans do this time what Democrats have done in the past. That is…. call voters stupid for voting the way they want to or assuming that because you don’t like the guy everyone else has to be wrong. Remember the Brits wondering how 60 million people could be so dumb when Bush won in 2004? Or the Democrats who were just sure the vote had been stolen because Bush is obviously a dumbass and no sane person could have voted for him. That kind of thing gets you beat.

    I think it is obvious that Huckabee is doing something right. Maybe Republicans need to figure out what it is, rather than just discount the man and his supporters.

    And I will say something for Huckabee, he has never said anything nastier about other people than they happily say about him. This is what Republicans do best, trash each other.

  19. Terrye says:


    There is nothing surprising about Sullivan blaming Bush, that is what he does best. There are a lot of disgruntled Republicans out there who blame Bush because the party is too right or not right enough or too hawkish or not hawkish enough. Take your pick.

    My Congressman Ellsworth votes almost exactly the same way my Senator Lugar does on most security issues. Not all the Democrats are trying to surrender, in fact that is why the current leadership in the Democratic party has failed to surrender thus far.

    It is also worth noting that a certain amount of our government is a permanent government. The DoD do not turn into pacifists when Democrats win. They may not get the funding they need, but the truth is that sooner or later a Democrat will be in the White House and unless Republicans stop acting like children it might be sooner rather than later.

  20. kathie says:

    Bush is one of the kindest politician up there. He has had every vindictive thrown at him imaginable, and he speaks back with a gentle voice, never vindictive back. Yes he has policy disputes but thats what we elect Presidents to do, carry out their stated policy.

    So what big “change” is everyone talking about. The Dems thought we should get out of Iraq, that was a lie. 100% of what they talked about as “change” was was rubbish, well not the minimum wage.

    I think the American people want a change of tone, that is all. Stop the name calling, the beating up on everybody, from the right and left. I think in general the American people just don’t like what they see and hear. Obama and Huck have a gentler, kinder tone. By the way so does Fred.