Friday, February 3, 2012

Del Boca Vista Turnout Low

As I mentioned the other day, turnout was quite low in Florida compared with 2008. So reports Michael McDonald and he plots turnout by county compared with 2008 against Gingrich's share of the vote. What he finds is that turnout was particularly low in the places where Romney did well and particularly high where Gingrich did well.

What do these data mean? McDonald says:

What will happen in the general election if Romney is the nominee is anyone's guess. I suspect that Republican conservatives will line up behind Romney, but they will not do so enthusiastically. And while Romney does well among moderate, urban and suburban voters, the lack of enthusiasm exhibited by these voters should caution Romney that he may not continue to do as well among these voters when his opponent is Barack Obama. This would not matter in deep red states, but could matter in some battlegrounds like Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia -- states where the Obama campaign appears to be targeting and where he can rely on enthusiastic African-American voters.

I think McDonald is understating the importance of what we're seeing here. Independent voters are not liking what they are seeing from Romney so far. Today's jobs report is not going to sour them on Obama further ... at least not right now.

Romney will get conservative voters to turn out for him. We've known that. What has been unclear is what price he'll pay among independents for getting them to show up. If Newt Gingrich can hold on to conservative support until Super Tuesday, he can do some damage there and force Romney to do some more pandering to the right. It is already a good bet that Romney will have to pick a running mate who is Palin-esque. DeMint anyone?

It seems to me the low turnout in Del Boca Vista and the surrounding communities is a bad sign for Mitt and his hair. Getting on stage with the Donald isn't helping any.

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