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2020

Super Tuesday Democratic voter turnout was record breaking in some states

Does this suggest huge turnout in Florida as Biden and Sanders clash?

Florida’s March 17 primary could be in line for record turnout, if early reports from Super Tuesday states portend trends for downstream states as Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders supporters flock to polls.

According to news reports being circulated by the Democratic National Committee, very high and even record presidential primary turnouts were seen throughout the country Tuesday as the Biden-Sanders rivalry heated up.

In Virginia more than 1.3 million Democrats turned out to vote, a rate of 23%, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. That topped the record of 20% set in 2008 when Barack Obama was rolling up big votes on his way to being elected President, and was far higher than the 14% turnout seen in 2016 when Sanders faced Hillary Clinton.

In Texas more than 2 million Democrats voted, according to the New York Times, beating the 1.4 million voters that Democrats drew to their 2016 presidential primary.

In Utah, the Daily Herald of Provo reported the turnout was a presidential primary record with 175,000 Democratic voters and a 33% turnout, breaking the 2008 record, more than an hour before polls closed.

In North Carolina 1.3 million voters turned out according to the New York Times, up by nearly 200,000 over 2016.

High, potentially record turnouts also were being reported in Alabama, Arkansas, Maine, Tennessee, Vermont, and Massachusetts, as well as in California, where returns still were incomplete.

In Minnesota and Colorado turnouts were being reported as strong, but there was no direct comparisons to previous years because both states have converted from caucuses for this year’s election.

There also was no way to compare the Democrats with Republicans as President Donald Trump is running against only token primary opposition, and primaries aren’t even being held in many states.

Nonetheless, the DNC on Wednesday was touting the Super Tuesday turnout as an indication of a fired-up party base.

“As Super Tuesday results poured in last night, Donald Trump had plenty to be nervous about,” the DNC stated in a news release. “In every corner of the country, voters flocked to cast their ballots for Democrats, smashing turnout records along the way.”

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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