While votes were still being tallied last night, the New York Times’ Micah Cohen set the reiterate a point from the weekend, this is not at all what Republican leaders anticipated. On the contrary, GOP officials in the states and at the national level assumed the exact opposite would happen.
Remember, Republican turnout was supposed to soar in these early contests because of the larger circumstances.
GOP voters are reportedly eager, if not foaming-at-the-mouth desperate, to fight a crusade against President Obama, and they had plenty of high-profile candidates trying to stoke their enthusiasm.
This, coupled with the boost from the so-called Tea Party “movement,” suggested energized Republicans would turn out in numbers that far exceeded the totals we saw in 2008, when GOP voters were depressed and it was Democrats who enjoyed the bulk of the excitement.
But in nearly all of the contests thus far, that hasn’t happened.
The last thing party leaders wanted to see was evidence of a listless, uninspired party, underwhelmed by their field of candidates. Republicans probably won’t fret publicly, but the turnout numbers should give party leaders pause.