We’ve heard media pundits call it, “democracy in action.” Millions of voters have cast a ballot in the first round of the presidential election with many Republican and Democratic contests still to come. The media has talked about record-breaking numbers showing up to polling locations in droves, but what does that actually mean?
IVN independent author Gabriel Saint Cyr reported recently that both Republicans and Democrats have seen primary/caucus turnout that rivals the 2008 presidential election. The Democrats’ turnout of 11.7 percent of eligible voters nationally is the second highest turnout in nearly a quarter of a century. The Republicans are seeing their biggest turnout in modern U.S. history — a whopping 17.3 percent of the eligible voting population.
Media pundits call this democracy in action, yet this means that the number of voters (percent) in many states who are deciding which two major party candidates are guaranteed a spot on the general election ballot in all 50 states is in the single digits. The electability of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich are being decided by only a handful of voters.
The data below was compiled from various secretary of state and board of elections websites and shows the stark reality of what winning a presidential primary or caucus actually means. The calculations, drawn from election results and voter registration statistics, show how big victories were won by less than 10 percent of the registered voting population in many states — a number that would be even smaller when looking at the entire voting age population.
It is information not often shared in the mass media, but readers can decide for themselves, is this really democracy in action?
This article, written by Athena Gavranian, was republished with permission from IVN.