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No surge detected yet

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014

* As subscribers know, We Ask America has been tracking early and absentee voting in the Republican primary this season.

The following chart breaks down who has already voted early or sent in an absentee GOP ballot and compares that to all voting in the 2010 Republican primary.

A Democrat is classified as somebody who has taken a “D” primary ballot at least once since 2008. Independents are those who have not voted in a partisan primary since 2008. The State Board of Elections’ voter file is matched up with the names of people who’ve already voted…

* So, as you can see, the percentage of historic Democrats participating in the GOP primary so far appears at first blush to be a bit higher than it was in the 2010 primary.

But, that’s not really what’s going on here.

* The percentage total of independents voting early in the Republican primary is down six points so far from the final 2010 total. Republican participation on the GOP primary is up about three points and Democratic participation in the Republican primary is also up about three from the final 2010 number.

In reality, while the final vote will skew slightly more Democratic (but balanced out by a slightly higher GOP base turnout), there is no surge detected here, just a six-point drop in interest by independents.

And as my pollster Chris Wieneke says, this could all correct itself by election day, when independents might come out in higher numbers.

Also, Democratic participation in the Republican primary could change on election day itself, when unions will be pushing their members to get out and vote. We’ll see, but a major crossover has never been attempted here.

Many of us know Democrats or independents taking Republican ballots for the first time, but, so far at least, it’s not showing up in the results.

* Perhaps more interesting, however, is that more Republican ballots have been cast so far, 49,010, than Democratic ballots, 45,905. Usually, Democratic primary turnout dwarfs Republican turnout. Four years ago, 915,726 votes were cast in the Democratic gubernatorial primary while 767,485 were cast in the GOP primary.

That’s likely a function of the cash spent on the GOP side and the lack of any cash spent on the D side. The most impact will be down-ballot. Who’s turning out in competitive House primaries, for instance?

* Related…

* Shearer: ‘We are not pulling back’ on pro-Dillard ads: While public sector unions that had been funding Shearer’s group are now pulling back, trade unions and other money is here for now. Last week’s money will go toward buying ads through mid-week and the Teamsters will give another day or two and then make a decision on a day by day basis how much money will go his way, he said.

* Public Union Urges Crossover Vote for Dillard

* AFL-CIO mailing goes after “Billionaire insider Bruce Rauner”

* Election messages were more mixed than assorted nuts in a can of Planters.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


30 Comments
  1. - Downstate - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 1:13 pm:

    Rich,
    As you point out “a major crossover has never been attempted here”.

    It’s a huge unknown. It’s the single biggest concern to Rauner supporters. Tough for unions, in that they’ve endorsed Democratic primary candidates, but now are asking their members to vote in the Republican primary.


  2. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    Gee, all those people asking about crossover votes on other posts are sure noticeably absent on this one.


  3. - OneMan - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 1:30 pm:

    Would be curious to see the party switcher numbers when this is all said and done…


  4. - Downstate - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    If unions don’t deliver crossover voters - does that hurt their brand?

    IMHO At the end of the day, they can still deliver the money - and that’s just as important to the candidates.


  5. - Jaded - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    ==A Democrat is classified as somebody who has taken a “D” primary ballot at least once since 2008==

    If they went back to 2006 Rauner would be classified as a D crossover vote.


  6. - anonymoose - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    Cross over? Wouldn’t that have to be a really well thought out plan of attack?

    Let’s say, hypothetically, about 300 of your friends and neighbors show up on a primary election day in one combined precinct voting location. About 20 voters on average are confused on the concept of a closed primary (you mean I have to announce which party I have to vote for and then only get to vote for that party’s candidates? What is this - Russia?). I’m a G.D. Independent, I want an Independent ballot (Oh, there isn’t an Independent ballot or no one to vote for).

    So some voter education would be a nice thing. And those who do know how to find the polling place are pretty firm about not wanting to pull the other party’s ballot (and it appearing on their permanent voting record). As usually, the primary voters are the motivated party faithful.


  7. - A guy... - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 1:53 pm:

    Asking Democrats to pull Republican ballots is a monster ask akin to asking a Baptist to take Communion in a Catholic Church. A hard D just doesn’t want a blemish on their permanent voting record. They take way too much pride in their party for many of them to even consider it, especially older ones.


  8. - train111 - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    I don’t see where the total number of people voting in a partiicular party’s primary has bearing on the general election result.

    In 2010 915,726 Dem ballots were cast and 767,485 GOP ballots were cast and Quinn pulled out a squeaker.

    In 2012 730,219 voted Dem and 948,178 voted GOP and Obama won handily.

    I think it is more a function of the almost absolute lack of Dem primaries until you get down to the lower levels. The GOP has primaries for Senate and Governor which have generated the most media attention.

    train111


  9. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    ===I don’t see where the total number of people voting in a partiicular party’s primary has bearing on the general election result.===

    I never said it did.


  10. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 1:59 pm:

    I’ll bite Rich.

    There was much better hope for a come-from-behind from Rutherford than Dillard. Rutherford’s view that pension bill was unconstitutional was much easier sell to union members. Dillard’s position was not that different from Dan on social hot buttons, but his tone was certainly more strident.

    As Brady continues to attack Dillard, I wonder more and more whether Brady is on the Rauner payroll.


  11. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 2:21 pm:

    While most Dem crossover votes are likely union anti-Rauner votes, I bet a sizable number are Rauner voters. Rahm’s team wants him to win, there’s nothing interesting in the Dem primary, and believe it or not there are a good number of Democrats who intensely dislike Karen Lewis.


  12. - ??? - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 2:23 pm:

    I’ve pulled a Democrat ballot since 2008, but I’ve also pulled a Republican ballot since 2008, too. How would I be classified?


  13. - OneMan - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 2:36 pm:

    ???

    Confused….

    Used to have a grouping for that.


  14. - Mason born - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 2:44 pm:

    ???

    Right there with you. I am frankly dismayed that anyone cares what letter shows up on their “voting record.” Correct me if i’m wrong but only the employees at the board of elections can see the stupid thing anyway.


  15. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 2:49 pm:

    –Correct me if i’m wrong but only the employees at the board of elections can see the stupid thing anyway.–

    Anyone can find out what ballot you pulled.


  16. - ??? - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 2:52 pm:

    OneMan - nope, not confused. It’s just that when there’s a tight race on one side where I actually like one of the candidates, I want to vote in that primary to to get them through to the general.

    Mason Born, campaign staffs on both sides can access lists of voters who have pulled D or R ballots previously and they use those lists to identify their likely supporters in general elections.


  17. - Mason born - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    Wordslinger

    Well thanks for that info. Seems incredibly stupid to do it that way. I guess i mistakenly assumed it was between you and the poll worker who handed it to you.

    ???

    Thanks that explains why i get so much Friggin e-mail from both sides.


  18. - Mason born - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    sorry meant snail mail not e-mail.


  19. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 3:07 pm:

    Mason, historically, the powers-that-be in both the Illinois Democratic and Republican parties want to know who pulls what ballot — especially when it comes to their payrollers.


  20. - One of three puppets - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 3:20 pm:

    I hear you about the lower percentage of independents but shouldn’t the focus still be on the influx of 3.4% of Democrats coming into this primary? Why are they doing it? To support Rauner? Doubt that. Independents not participating seems moot because you don’t know what their behavior could have been. Democrats coming in surely is to support Dillard. Using 750,000 votes cast and 12.8% coming from Democrats means 96,000. Applying the 2010 percentage to 750,000 means roughly 70,500 participated. Possible influx of 25,500 voters likely being encouraged to vote Dillard. I said possible folks so take a deep breath.


  21. - Mason born - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 3:20 pm:

    Wordslinger

    Believe me i see why the polls want the info available believe me. I’m sure it cost a lot less to send mailers only to those people who are receptive to your message than all voters not to mention fund raising letters etc. That being said this seems like it could be information used to intimidate and coerce voters.


  22. - ??? - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 3:25 pm:

    ==wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 3:07 pm:

    Mason, historically, the powers-that-be in both the Illinois Democratic and Republican parties want to know who pulls what ballot — especially when it comes to their payrollers.==

    Exactly. When I worked for Republican officials, NO WAY would I pull a Democrat ballot during that time. But now that I no longer work in the political arena, I pull whichever ballot I want to, depending on who’s running and how tight the race is.


  23. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 3:27 pm:

    –That being said this seems like it could be information used to intimidate and coerce voters.–

    Absolutely. That’s part of the intent, something Democratic and Republican power-brokers have always agreed upon.

    If you’re a payroller and you pull a primary ballot other than what your clout instructed, you’ve got trouble.

    It’s not been unheard of in some precincts throughout the state that you may have trouble getting services if you pulled the “wrong” ballot.


  24. - ??? - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 3:28 pm:

    Mason born, I hear you on the mailers from both sides. Although in 2010, I got NOTHING from Brady, despite having pulled many more R ballots in my lifetime than D ballots. I guess since I had a Chicago address, they just didn’t bother reaching out.


  25. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 3:31 pm:

    This “surge” will put front and center the impact, the political muscles the FOP, Teachers, and ASCME.

    Could be good, not looking impressive right now.

    Nothing, in Dem or GOP ballots today indicate any muscle.

    The they are all counting on Election Day…

    Beyond a huge ask, but an ask all the same.


  26. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 3:31 pm:

    It seems like the unions are just starting to ask for the crossover. Do you think their members are not going to listen?

    It seems those with pensions have a vested interest in voting against Rauner. (Pun intended)


  27. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 3:35 pm:

    – Although in 2010, I got NOTHING from Brady, despite having pulled many more R ballots in my lifetime than D ballots. –

    I’ve been in the same house in Oak Park for 25 years and have been about half-and-half on Dem/GOP primary ballots.

    Always get a lot of lit from Illinois Dems. The only Illinois candidate to send me lit in all those years was Jason Plummer.

    The Cook County GOP has to be MJMs greatest scheme. Nothing else explains the neglect.


  28. - Oh Come On! - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 4:40 pm:

    Three mail pieces today: Rauner’s “Goodfellas” piece and two negative pieces against Rauner. One was from the AFL-CIO and the second was from the Peoria based “Fund for Jobs & Progress.” The Peoria piece lauded Dillard as being endorsed by “The N.R.A.”


  29. - ironman - Wednesday, Mar 12, 14 @ 4:56 pm:

    Yellow dog if you are not correct, then Brady has an ego bigas my house.


  30. - Wally - Thursday, Mar 13, 14 @ 7:06 am:

    The Dillard ads are non-stop in Central IL.


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