High Turnout Expected in Wisconsin, Hawaii
by Jonathan Singer, Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:10:52 PM EST
Here's the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
State election officials expect turnout to be about 35% of the voting-age population, which would rank Wisconsin near the top of states that have voted.
And here's The Honolulu Advertiser:
The Democratic Party of Hawai'i is predicting record turnout at its caucuses tonight and is asking people to be patient in the event of long lines or confusion at the caucus sites.
Caucus turnout has never exceeded 5,000 but party officials believe that figure could double tonight and could reach as high as 12,000. Local volunteers for U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois are suggesting that turnout could even climb into the 15,000 to 18,000 range, which would likely overwhelm party volunteers conducting the presidential preference poll.
Party officials said that more than 1,200 people had joined the party in the weeks before Super Tuesday. But an additional 5,000 people have since signed up as the caucuses became relevant to the Democratic presidential nomination.
While an acrimonious primary between two strong candidates who both have deep and fervent support can potentially make it more difficult for the candidate who emerges from the primary (and I stress "can" because I am not entirely convinced that this is necessarily the case), it's hard to argue with the data showing that the contested nature of this cycle's Democratic primaries are getting Democrats energized in a way we've not really seen before (or at least for a very long time) and bringing a whole lot of new people to the party. In the long term, and even the medium term (and I'm talking the remainder of this cycle, potentially), this is a great sign for the Democratic Party.