Voter turnout varies drastically between parties

Daily News Article - March 1, 2016


1. List the voter turnout (and by what percentage it has changed) for each party in the early primary states:
a) Iowa
b) New Hampshire
c) South Carolina
d) Nevada

2. What trend is clear from these turnouts?

3. What is significant for Republican voter turnout in Nevada?

4. What is strong voter turnout in primary elections a sign of?

5. a) Define contested primary.
b) If the president is not running again, the party generally will support the vice president’s nomination if he runs. Vice President Joe Biden has declined to run.
Gallup reported in 2014 that young adults (those between the ages of 18 and 29) have typically aligned themselves with the Democratic Party, but they have become substantially more likely to do so since 2006.
Consider the fact that the Republican party had several candidates in their 40’s, a woman, an African American and two Latino candidates.
Bernie Sanders is 74. Why do you think no younger Democrats entered the race against Hillary Clinton (except Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who never received any substantial support)?

6. Michael McDonald, an expert on voter turnout at the University of Florida who tracks turnout said of the low voter turnout thus far in the Democratic primaries:
"It would be unusual for the turnout rate to be as high as it was for the Democrats in 2008. The fact that the turnout is lower than the 2008 level is not something that's a huge surprise to me."
If elected, Hillary Clinton would be the first woman president. Many Democratic women say they are voting for her for that fact. Do you think the possibility of electing the first female president should have resulted in higher voter turnout or do you agree with Mr. McDonald? Explain your answer.

7. The CBS reporter wrote: “But early voting numbers from some key Super Tuesday states, like Georgia and Tennessee, have reportedly risen significantly this year, meaning those states are likely to set some turnout records when the polls close Tuesday night. (Those increases are reported for the overall electorate, not for either party specifically--so it's tough to know for sure which party the increases are coming from.)”
The reporter states “it's tough to know for sure which party the increases are coming from” - do you agree? Explain your answer.

8. To what do you attribute the record increases in voter turnout for the Republican primaries? (CHALLENGE: Check out voter turnout numbers for the Super Tuesday states and then those in the coming months - do the statistics hold steady?)

9. Do you think the large number of Republican candidates hurt the party’s nomination process? Explain your answer.