Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Some hard data on comparative motivation

We've been talking a lot the last few days about how Republicans are more motivated right now than Democrats, particularly as it pertains to this year's elections. All of that discussion has been based on polling data, but there are also some hard numbers we can look at to assess this phenomenon.

334,000 people voted in the New Jersey Republican primary for Governor, while 319,000 voted in the Virginia Democratic primary for Governor.

Taking the 334,000 GOP primary votes in New Jersey as a percentage of John McCain's 1,545,495 votes in the state you get 21.6%. Taking the 319,000 Dem primary votes in Virginia as a percentage of Barack Obama's 1,959,532 votes in the state you get 16.3%. It's not a completely apples to apples comparison (Va. has an open primary, NJ's is semi open) but either way a 5% disparity in turnout between the two parties' voters is easily enough to swing a close election.

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