Hey Democrats, You Have To Actually Vote In Order To Win An Election
I know everyone wants to blame the millennials for the low voter turnout but guess what, they are not the only ones to blame. Below is the South Carolina exit poll information provided by the HuffPost Politics.
Exit polling showed that Clinton won every demographic tracked except voters under 30. Even here, she was far more competitive with Sanders than in prior contests, losing just 54 percent to 46 percent. She even won a higher share of the black vote than Barack Obama did in 2008.
But Democratic Party elites shouldn’t be high-fiving each other. They should be very, very worried.
In primary after primary this cycle, Democratic voters just aren’t showing up. Only 367,491 people cast a ballot for either Clinton or Sanders on Saturday. That’s down 16 percent from the 436,219 people who came out in 2008 for Clinton and Obama. Factor in the 93,522 people who voted for John Edwards back in the day, and you can see the scope of the problem. Democrats in 2016 are only getting about two-thirds of the primary votes that they received eight years ago.
Republican turnout in the South Carolina primary, by contrast, was up more than 70 percent from 2008.
Democrats are notorious for horrible turnouts during midterm elections but we cannot afford to sit at home for the general election.
Presidential elections increasingly hinge on each party’s ability to turn out the faithful. There simply are not many truly independent voters who cast their ballots for different parties in different cycles. A big chunk of voters who identify as independents do so not because they cherish a moderate middle ground between two parties, but because they see their own party as insufficiently committed to its ideological principles. In this era, lousy primary turnout spells big trouble for the general election.
The poor Democratic turnout figures are not an indictment of Clinton alone. Maybe the DNC’s decision to bury the party’s debates on weekends and holidays helped Republicans generate more early enthusiasm with primetime coverage. And part of Sanders’ pitch, of course, is his insistence that progressive energy will bring out high numbers of enthusiastic voters that an old party insider just can’t compete with. It’s a good pitch. But so far, it isn’t happening.
It’s always hard to motivate voters for four more years of the same old thing after getting eight years of it — especially when many of those years were mired in an awful recession, followed by a weak economic recovery. Opposition parties typically have a better hand after eight years. That’s why 12-year runs in the presidency by a single party don’t happen very often.
It is looking more and more like Donald Trump will be the Republicans candidate and polls are showing that it will not be as easy as people think to beat him. If we continue to sit on our asses we are screwed.
If Republicans nominate Donald Trump for president — and barring a cataclysm or a coup, they will — there will be plenty of energized Democrats who turn out in the general election for no other reason than to cast a ballot against a billionaire who has predicated his campaign on raw bigotry.
That will help even the energy some. But the flip side of the coin is that lots of angry white people will show up to vote for Trump. We know because they’re already doing so in the primaries. And a lot of Republican partisans who prefer other candidates still care more about turning the page on the Obama era than they do about Trump’s flirtations with fascism (and even, at times, liberal critiques of GOP orthodoxy).
Bottom line, we need to vote like our lives depend on it. If The Donald somehow wins the election, I am grabbing my passport, I will live anywhere but here.
Much thanks to Zach Carter at HuffPost Politics.
Clinton trounced Sen. Bernie Sanders by nearly 3-to-1 in the South Carolina primary, winning every single county in the state. The thumping followed a convincing Clinton victory in the Nevada caucuses less than a week earlier, and sets the stage for a strong showing for Clinton on Super Tuesday, when 11 states are in play.