Friday, May 05, 2006

Die-hard Ohio Republicans

I missed this earlier in the week, but here's a tidbit of what Michael Barone has to say about Ohio and the Primary this past week: [via Hugh Hewitt]:
Now we have more than polls to go on: Ohioans voted yesterday in the two parties' primaries. There's some bad news in the results for Republicans, but not as bad as I expected. Ohio does not have party registration, so every voter gets to choose which party's primary he will vote in. The aggregate of those choices has some relevance to the general election result. It can't be considered anything like a precise forecast, of course. But one of the hypotheses strategists of both parties have been considering is that Republican turnout may be down this year relative to Democratic turnout. Republicans are downcast, the theory goes, angry at their party's high spending and their president's stand on immigration; and in Ohio that goes double, for Ohio's Republican state government has raised taxes. Democrats, on the other hand, the theory goes, are fired up, angry at George W. Bush and the Republican Congress and, in Ohio, at Taft and the Republicans.

That's right. It's a THEORY. John Kerry has been trying to sell the badness of Ohio since the election. The place is not burning down and Republicans are not discouraged. Furthermore, the lack of party registration is a huge thing to consider. In the '04 primary I took a Democrat ballot because I wanted to vote among the Democrat candidates, knowing that President Bush was (thankfully) a forgone conclusion for the Republican nomination.
Anyway, Barone continues:
Republican primary turnout in total votes was the highest this year in the past 25 years.

The Republican percentage of primary turnout was 51.6 yesterday, down 2.6 percentage points from 2002 (when turnout for both parties was a 25-year low) but almost exactly the same as in 1998 and 1994.

People may be turned off by politics and politicians, but they're still voting like crazy—or at least in greater numbers than in the recent past. And people may be turned off by Republicans, but a lot of Republicans are still voting. ... Somehow, despite all the discouraging news and dismal poll numbers, there are a lot of plodding, dull, dutiful people, too stubborn to take instruction from their betters in the mainstream media, who insist on going out and voting Republican. Hard to explain. But that's what the numbers seem to say.

If you want a lot more numbers, read it all. Barone has a lot of numbers and a lot of good analysis.