Nearly 19 percent of Oklahoma’s voting age population turned out to vote in primaries, according to a study by American University’s Center for the Study of the American Electorate.
Statewide Republican turnout in primaries reached a record high of 9.6 percent in the state, but Democratic turnout was at a record low of 9.4 percent, the study says.
That was part of a national trend, according to the study; GOP turnout nationwide in primaries was the highest since 1970, while Democratic turnout was the lowest ever.
“Given the intense intramural battles within the Republican Party _ and the growing belief that because of sour economic conditions and the opportunity they present for GOP gains in both houses of Congress and in the states _ it isn’t surprising that Republican turnout increased,” Curtis Gans, director of AU’s Center, said in a news release.
“But what’s likely to prove telling is the lower participation of the Democrats, the first tangible demonstration of what polls have been showing _ a distinct lack of enthusiasm among the Democratic rank and file.”
Gans’ turnout numbers have always used voting age population, rather than registered voters. That is, he looks at the universe of people 18 and over who can legally vote. State election officials look at the universe of registered voters _ a smaller segment of the population _ so their turnout percentages are higher.