INSTITUTE INDEX: The partisan enthusiasm gap in Southern primaries

A look at turnout in primary elections held in Southern states so far reveals a marked difference in enthusiasm between the parties, a pattern that holds nationally. (Photo by jamelah e. via Flickr.)

Year in which the South became a bigger player in presidential primary politics because of the decision to move up primary dates in a number of the region's states: 2016

Of the 13 Southern states*, number that have held primaries to date: 10**

Number of registered voters in those states: 26.4 million

Number of those voters who have cast ballots: 8.4 million

Percent drop in Democratic voter turnout in those states over 2008, when the party last held a highly competitive presidential primary: 50

Percent increase in Republican voter turnout in those states over 2008: 75

Percent by which the number of Republican primary voters in the South exceeds the number of Democratic primary voters in the region to date: 84

Rank of Alabama among the Southern states with the highest Republican turnout so far: 1

Percent of registered Republicans who turned out to vote there: 30

Rank of Georgia among the Southern states with the highest Democratic turnout so far: 1

Percent of registered Democrats who turned out to vote there: 16

Percent turnout of Democrats in the three Southern states — Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas — that tied for the lowest Democratic turnout to date: 10

Percent turnout of Republicans in Kentucky, the Southern state where GOP turnout has been lowest to date: 7

Percent turnout rate of eligible Republican voters nationally through the first dozen primaries of 2016: 17.3

Of eligible Democratic voters: 11.7

Number Southern states where voters will have a chance to cast primary ballots next week: 2***

* Facing South counts among the Southern states Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

** Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

*** Florida and North Carolina.

(Click on figure to go to source.)