The number of Republicans who have cast primary ballots in the Southern states to date is nearly twice the number of Democrats who have turned out to vote. (Photo by Keith Ivey via Flickr.)

2016 Elections: GOP turnout soars, Democratic turnout plummets in Southern primaries

As expected, the South has provided a major boost to Democrat Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential bid. Clinton has swept all seven of the Southern states that have held primaries to date, including the delegate-rich states of Georgia, Texas and Virginia.

But those wins have come with a troubling development for Democrats: the fact that voter turnout for the party's 2016 primaries in the South is 45 percent lower than it was in the party's last competitive presidential primary in 2008.

In the seven states that have hosted Democratic presidential preference primaries so far — Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia — turnout has averaged 12 percent of the state's electorate. That's down from 22 percent in the party's 2008 primary, meaning 2.6 million fewer Democratic voters cast ballots this year.

For Republicans, the reverse is true. While GOP turnout in the seven Southern state primaries was 14 percent in 2008 and 13 percent in 2012, it skyrocketed to 23 percent in those states this year.

The number of Republicans who have cast primary ballots in the Southern states to date is nearly twice the number of Democrats who have turned out to vote.

The following chart shows how turnout has compared in the 2016 Southern primaries so far (click on it for a larger version):

The results aren't surprising given the well-publicized Republican race that has stirred GOP turnout, and that Clinton challenger Bernie Sanders all but conceded some Southern states. They're also in line with national trends.

Democratic strategists have offered a host of explanations for the dip in turnout, including new voting restrictions in Southern states and the Democratic establishment's efforts to create a sense of inevitability around Clinton's nomination.

Republicans will have to hope that the voter enthusiasm driving turnout for the field of four candidates will translate into turnout for whichever single candidate emerges from primaries. As for Democrats, they can take comfort in the fact that primary turnout isn't necessarily a predictor of participation in a General Election — and they won't necessarily need to reach 2008's historic turnout numbers to achieve victory.

<p>The number of Republicans who have cast primary ballots in the Southern states to date is nearly twice the number of Democrats who have turned out to vote. (Photo by Keith Ivey <a href=via Flickr.)

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The number of Republicans who have cast primary ballots in the Southern states to date is nearly twice the number of Democrats who have turned out to vote. (Photo by Keith Ivey via Flickr.)

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Vote down Trump!

I don't care what Trump says he stands for. His lifestyle is more appropriate for a mayor of "sin city" than president of our great and respectable nation. I would rather see any republican or democratic candidate in office instead of Trump. He is not fit for public service, especially as president of the United States.
A born again, stay at home mom, with a family income above 200,000, member of a southern baptist church, from North Carolina, with a masters degree in public policy, children in private Christian school and state universities, a survivor of a mom who wanted an abortion but couldn't go through with it 45 years ago, daughter of Eastern European immigrant families, registered in the past as republican and democrat and right to life party member, and citizen of the United States of America.

Self infatuated much? You try

Self infatuated much? You try so hard to call him down by talking about yourself acting like your everything he stands against. Bad press is better than no press. Giving any sort of attention takes away from legitimate candidates.

You poor thing, You would

You poor thing, You would inflict Cruz on this Nation? The fact that you were given the choice of having an abortion or not is what the fight is all about, thank you for being "pro choice". It's ok to not have an abortion but the decision must be a woman's. Let's hope your vote reflects your Pro Choice decision. Thank you again.

U.S. Primaries

TRUMP is not responsible for other candidates’ and previous government failures. American voters couldn’t care less about party affiliations. Today American voters want to reverse the export of jobs, manufacturing and money out of America. Americans want to deal with terrorism and illegal immigration once and for all. Americans want a health care system that works for ALL Americans. TRUMP’s proposals embrace measurable achievable solutions that will take back America for ALL Americans.

TRUMP is presenting mitigation proposals designed to address current terrorism and illegal immigration threats in America. TRUMP has been very clear that these proposals are designed to mitigate these very real threats and as the threats themselves are mitigated the proposals will be refined, relaxed and or eliminated altogether. Similar threats exist in Europe and around the world. Their solutions have failed and consequently these countries are decaying into chaos. These countries are now implementing TRUMP’s proposals as they struggle to salvage what’s left of their countries from complete annihilation.

Currently very unethical politicians and political parties are using lies and smear campaigns when they say TRUMP’s proposals are all about personalities, gender, race, minorities, religion, fear and prejudice. American voters will never be fooled by these lies and smear campaigns and those who spread them will be held to account for their actions. Informed Voting Americans of every demographic and party affiliation are agreeing that TRUMP’s proposals are all about improving, preserving and restoring the quality of life in America for ALL Americans. This is confirmed by TRUMP’s leading position in the GOP primary polls.

Thank you, Donald Trump, and every other honorable and trustworthy candidate, for running for President and offering informed voters choices and a path to a better America for ALL Americans!

America is not a dictatorship, at least not yet anyway! Voters’ choices are Americas’ choices. Americans’ sacrifices build a country where people can agree to disagree. This is the essence of Freedom in America today and always will be. Show a little faith and trust that Informed American Voters will make the right choice for ALL Americans. After all, because Americans are free to vote in a free county, ALL Americans will freely accept the result of the election and embrace the next President as their new leader.

I feel like the Trump

I feel like the Trump supporters that are not racist, would really like Bernie Sanders more than Trump if they would delve deeper into his strategy for the country and not be turned away by scaremongering that he is some kind of commie nutjob. As an independent I found this to be a great read:
10 Reasons Why Conservatives Should Start Supporting Bernie Sanders

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