Thursday, May 29, 2008

obama supporters less likely to vote down-ballot

According to surveys, twenty-five percent of Texas primary voters only voted for president in the March 4 primary.
Obama supporters were more likely to vote in the presidential race and then skip the other contests than Clinton supporters, who tended to continue voting down the ballot. More than 80 percent of Democratic voters in the Texas counties where Clinton had her largest victory margins went on to vote in the U.S. Senate race, the leading statewide contest on the ballot after the presidential race. By contrast, only 71 percent of voters in Obama's strongest counties did.
I'll leave it up to you to draw your own conclusions about why Barack Obama's voters would be more likely to skip the rest of the races on the ballot, but no matter what the reasoning it's something we need to make sure is fixed by November if Obama is the nominee.

This isn't a condemnation of Obama voters, though, because the number of Hillary Clinton's voters that skipped down-ballot races is too high, as well. We can't have people only interested in the "rock star" presidential race when maintaining control of Congress is critical to the Democratic Party. At the very least, we should be able to convince these people to vote a straight-ticket in the general election rather than skipping out on other races altogether. (Perhaps that was the problem in the primary: long lines and no "straight ticket" option.)

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