Jan 26 2008

More Depressing Turnout Numbers For GOP In SC

Published by at 10:55 am under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions

I keep saying the GOP and its supporters cannot be Pollyannish about who can win in 2008. It is clear from just about every primary the Dems are motivated and the GOP is flat. SC is just underscoring that fact today:

In 2004, about 290,000 people voted in the Democratic presidential primary. Party officials are hoping as many as 350,000 voters will head to the polls today. Weather forecasts are for sunny skies and seasonable temperatures.

Early returns are encouraging. Mike Cinnamon, executive director of the Richland County election commission, said there were long lines of absentee voters Friday. Cinnamon said there were about 700 Republican absentee votes and at least twice that in Democratic votes.

The State Election Commission has issued more Democratic absentee ballots than Republican, a reversal of typical elections.

Last week — in ice, rain and cold — Republican turnout dipped about 22 percent from the all-time high in 2000. About 445,000 voted in last Saturday’s Republican primary.

SC is deep red country. But as the GOP lost red VA they may be slipping across the south, unless they can find a moderate standard bearer. If today’s numbers get too close to the GOP numbers then I would really start to worry that the GOP is not up for a fight in 2008. Of course all the internal name calling and purity wars are not helping to achieve unity of purpose and excitement. But no one seems to care.

10 responses so far

10 Responses to “More Depressing Turnout Numbers For GOP In SC”

  1. MerlinOS2 says:

    From what I have been reading of Virginia ,which you obviously have a much better handle on than I, is that some of the actions of the Republican party officials at the state level have been to put it politely, kinda screwed up and just shooting themselves in more places than the foot.

    Red State blog has been highly critical of them with many examples of why.

  2. Frogg says:

    I have another theory. I am only basing it on people I know who are voting in the Dem primary. It is not scientific. There is an anti-Hillary faction in the Dem party that is showing up in high numbers to vote against her. It all changes in the general election when there is a different set of candidates.

    Moderate Republican? Isn’t that what George Bush was? I don’t see any far right conservatives in this race? So, why the low turn out at the Republican primaries if they are all moderate candidates? Maybe it’s because there is no conservative?

  3. Terrye says:


    The Republicans will face the same problems in Ohio where the state party has imploded. Kind of like the Democrats in LA.

  4. WWS says:

    “Conservative” Duncan Hunter was on the ballot in SC. Although I don’t mean to disrespect the man, what did he end up with? 822 votes? Total???

  5. Terrye says:


    I thought Fred Thompson was supposed to be the conservative in the race. Why didn’t people vote for him if that is what they want? Why didn’t they vote for Duncan Hunter or Tom Tancredo?

  6. sjreidhead says:

    The numbers from SC’s GOP turnout last Saturday have more to do with weather than anything else. If you are not familiar with the way things operate in SC when there is an announced “snow” everyone rushes to the local store, tanks up on bread and milk (I’m serious about this) and then they go home and don’t come out until the local television stations announce “all clear”. I heard from a friend last week that in the mountainous regions a number of people voted early. There were a number of people who did not vote. If I saw the precinct by precinct numbers could tell you more. Also, as is typical they combined precincts. While people wouldn’t mind going out to vote in the bad weather if the precinct was close – trust me, they
    would not do so at one the combined precincts some distance away. If the weather was as I was told, and it were a general election, I don’t even know if I would have been able to get to my local precinct because of the roads.

    I worked in SC primaries and elections from 1972 until I moved in 1998. The turnout in 1980 was very low. I know people won’t believe it but there wasn’t that much interest in Reagan then.

    The SC Dem party is in bad shape, financially. A few years ago it was nearly bankrupt.

    Another thing – I think too many people are truly over-estimating how actually conservative the GOP truly is. I think we could be dealing with a massive disconnect between bloggers, talk show personalities, and the actual rank and file of the GOP.

    The Pink Flamingo

    Don’t get all worried that SC is turning Blue. It isn’t.

  7. MerlinOS2 says:

    The state has about 2,246,000 voters total all parties per scvotes.org

    Rep primary turnout 19.8%
    Dem primary 23.7%

  8. MerlinOS2 says:


    This entire cycle has been shaped by Huck pure and simple. Look at the exit polls and the breakdowns. Yes he is a populist ,but he has been pulling votes that would likely have gone to more traditional conservatives and libs have been going strong for McCain.

    If you could somehow have taken Huck out of the picture the whole complexion of the races would have been a night and day difference.

  9. MerlinOS2 says:

    In general over 75% of Huck voters were religious supporters which when voting either pick the conservative first since they don’t normally have a religious choice but if they have one of those then tend to ignore the politics of the candidate but vote strictly on a religious issue.

    Since most of the Rep primaries have been fairly balanced if Huck were not there all those votes would have likely moved to conservative candidates who were starved for air in this election cycle.

    Fred is looked at as not active in the religion are and Hunter is a Baptist but I don’t know how active he is but since he endorsed Huck I feel he must be fairly active and that partially shaped the endorsement.

  10. MerlinOS2 says:

    In 2006 a real off year the dem primary had a 6% turnout an 11% rep primary turnout and general turnout of 44% at a little over 1,100,000 voters.

    The state just counts how many voted in each primary without any party listing so the numbers are almost useless for comparison of party support but just general participation levels.