Rokke Posted February 7, 2012 Share Posted February 7, 2012 ABC News: As the caucuses and primaries pick up pace, with Colorado and Minnesota taking center stage today, many are wondering whether the initial enthusiasm surrounding the Republican race is waning, given the remarkably low turnout in the Nevada caucuses, which came and went with little fanfare. In Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, turnout surged, compared to four years ago and each state went to a different candidate. But that trend appears to be on the decline. In both Florida and Nevada, turnout dropped sharply from 2008. Florida saw nearly 280,000 fewer voters in its primary last week, while more than 11,000 fewer voters turned out to vote in Nevada on Saturday compared to four years ago. Mitt Romney won both states by a landslide. Some observers say the declining interest is a reflection of the lack of enthusiasm for the former Massachusetts governor. Polls show mixed enthusiasm for the current crop of GOP candidates. More Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters — about 52 percent — said the Republican field is only fair or poor than did so in early January, according to a poll by the Pew Research Center, and only 46 percent had positive opinions of the field. At this time in 2008, 68 percent of Republican and GOP-leaning voters rated the field as excellent or good, according to Pew. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, the only candidate who doesn’t have a win under his belt, also blamed the low turnout on the lack of satisfaction with the candidates in an interview on “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos. Some observers, however, point to a trend of higher turnout in counties where former House speaker Newt Gingrich outperformed Romney. “He’s much more of an attack dog when it comes to not only his primary opponents but also his potential general election opponent, Obama,” said Michael McDonald, a professor at George Mason University who runs the United States Elections Project, which monitors election and turnout data. “The Republican voters really crave someone who’s going to display that sort of attack mentality when it comes to the general election. That’s something you can get enthused upon. Romney’s campaign is not a campaign that seems to be able to spark that kind of enthusiasm.” Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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