The real story out of Monday’s night’s Iowa Caucus has nothing to do with the Democrat Party’s vote-counting debacle and everything to do with the Democrat Party’s dismally low voter turnout.
A presidential election is won and lost on only three things: 1) enthusiasm, 2) enthusiasm, and 3) enthusiasm. Presidential elections are base elections, meaning you have to get the party’s base of supporters to turn out everywhere. What happened last night in Iowa was our first chance to gauge support and excitement on both sides, not to mention organizational strength.
As my colleague John Binder reported earlier, one vote count that was not screwed up last night was the count of overall Iowa Democrats who showed up to caucus. Unfortunately for Democrats, turnout is right around 2016 levels, or about 171,000.
That’s a terrible number, a number that foretold Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss to Donald Trump.
For context, back in 2008, the most recent (prior to 2016) up-for-grabs Democrat primary not involving an incumbent, 240,000 Democrats turned out in the contest between Barack Obama and Hillary — a record high.
What’s more, Democrats and their media allies were expecting and predicting something much closer to 2008’s number for a couple of reasons. To begin with, there is no clear Democrat frontrunner, so voting matters. Secondly, the so-called “experts” in the media are dead certain there’s unprecedented energy to vanquish Trump…
“Some party officials and campaigns were expecting far more people to participate than four years ago due to Democrats’ enthusiasm to replace Trump,” reports the AP.
In worse news for the Jackass Party, CBS News reports “only about 32 percent of Iowa caucus voters were caucusing for the first time… indicating a low level of enthusiasm among younger generations in the state for the 2020 Democrat candidates.”
“This year’s level of new participants is well shy of that in 2008, when a whopping 57 percent of Democrats said they had never caucused before,” reports far-left NBC News. .
With the median age of the Democrat field hovering somewhere around Jurassic, I can’t imagine why young people are turning away in droves.
On the flipside, even though President Trump’s victory was assured in Iowa, a stunning 32,347 caucus-goers showed up to vote in the GOP primary. That might not sound like much, but back in 2004, when then-President George W. Bush was the last incumbent Republican certain to win re-nomination, only 8,000 showed up.
According to the GOP, Trump “set a turnout record for an incumbent president in the Iowa Caucus.”
Bush won a second term that year, and the fact Trump drew four times as many voters in his own meaningless primary stands as a very good sign of enthusiasm.
This was also a test of the Trump campaign’s grassroots effort, their ability to mobilize their volunteers and turn out the vote. This exercise helps work out the bugs for the national general election and to ensure Trump has the infrastructure in place to win the swing state of Iowa again.
Trump also trounced his Never Trump competition. Trump won 97 percent of the vote, compared to just 1.1 percent for hapless Joe Walsh and 1.3 percent for equally hapless Bill Weld.
The bottom line is this…
On the all-important issue of enthusiasm and organization, in the first big test of the year, Democrats under-performed miserably last night, while Trump and his campaign over-performed … bigly.