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Republicans Keep Posting Phenomenal Turnout Numbers

Republicans continued to post stunning voter-turnout numbers Tuesday night. In the four states that voted on the GOP side, turnout far exceeded what the party saw in 2012.

In Hawaii's, Michigan's and Mississippi's Republican races, turnout this year was 30 to 40 percent higher than it was in 2012. Idaho posted a nearly 400 percent bump, but that may be due in part to the fact that this year was a primary, whereas the party held a caucus in 2012; those contests tend to draw smaller crowds.

Democrats' numbers likewise require some context. In Michigan, this year's turnout far outstripped that in the state's 2008 contest. But then, in 2008, Barack Obama and John Edwards both bowed out of Michigan's race when the state broke party rules and scheduled its primary too early. That may have helped depress turnout.

Add together the 23 states where Republicans have voted or caucused this year, and you get 12.4 million people. That's nearly 5 million more GOP voters thus far this primary season than in those same states in 2012 — a bump of nearly 67 percent across those states.

Contrast that with the Democratic side, whose turnout dropoff is nearly a mirror image of the GOP's spike, with nearly 8.7 million people voting thus far across 21 states' Democratic contests. That's down by nearly 23 percent from the party's stellar turnout in 2008.

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Danielle Kurtzleben is a political correspondent assigned to NPR's Washington Desk. She appears on NPR shows, writes for the web, and is a regular on The NPR Politics Podcast. She is covering the 2020 presidential election, with particular focuses on on economic policy and gender politics.

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