Spike in Democratic primary voting due to crossovers, independents

Posted in 2008 Primary, Election 2008, Elections, Presidential Election, Williamson County at 5:28 am by dembones

According to election records, one in seven voters casting ballots in the Democratic primary in Williamson county during early voting have a history of voting in Republican primaries in the past. Have these voters left the Republican party? Are they crossing over to vote for the Democratic Presidential candidate that they think will be easier for John McCain to beat? Have they given up all hope that their nominee will win in November, and are voting in the Democratic Primary now in order to select the one they hate the least?

The answer to all the above is “yes.” Crossover Republicans will tell you their reasons, but the answer you get depends upon which one you talk to.

As fascinating as the examination of crossover Republicans’ motivations may be, their numbers are still too small to explain why turnout in the Democratic primary is up more than 6 times the 2004 rate.

To find that answer, one must look at the extraordinary number of voters with no primary history. The numbers are so massive, they by themselves explain the doubling in primary turnout. This group is going 3 to 1 for the Democratic primary.

The amount of spending in Texas by the campaigns of the Democratic candidates for President goes a long way toward explaining the intense interest in the Texas primary, which for the first time in a generation is taking place while the party’s nominee is still in question. The part that should be very concerning to Republicans is how well that advertising seems to be working on them. Clearly, more than a few want “Change they can believe in” or a candidate that is “Ready on day one.”

With the three biggest days of early voting ahead, the same percentage of registered voters have already voted early as voted early in the 2004 primary. The expected early voting turnout will exceed 15 percent, perhaps even doubling the 8.8 percent total four years ago.

As for total primary turnout, look for Williamson county to hit 40 percent, compared with 23 percent four years ago.

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