Barone Agrees: 46th Troubling for Dems

I talked about this during last night’s podcast, but I see the outcome in the 46th as a potential sign that Barrack Obama’s success on Election Day and organizing throughout the campaign is not being translated into the Democratic apparatus. After a night of worrying that I might be seen as a crazy person, I get some high profile support from none other than U.S. News and World Report’s Michael Barone. (Well, he didn’t mention me, clearly, but we’re on the same page with this)

Here’s a table showing the total voting for delegates in 2005, 2007, and 2009; turnout was much higher in 2005, when the governorship was up, than in the off year of 2007 or the special elections this month.


        2009 as % of
  2005 2007 2009 2005 2007
46th District   14,105  4,927  2,679  19  54
70th District  13,745  5,460  912  7  17
 81st District  11,775  4,512  2,988  25  66


What I think the numbers show is that a significantly larger percentage of Republicans than Democrats bothered to vote in these special elections. Black turnout seems to have been especially low. This runs at least a little contrary to expectations, since Republicans today have plenty of reasons to be dispirited and Democrats after Barack Obama’s victory have plenty of reasons to be enthusiastic.

All of this may turn out to have no bearing on turnout in the 2009 elections in Virginia and New Jersey and the 2010 congressional elections. But if I were still a Democratic political consultant, I’d be just a bit concerned.

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