As David Bernstein points out, there were some Democratic voters who showed up for the primary, but who either stayed home or jumped ship for the general. The total number of votes in the Democratic primary was 55,517. But yesterday, Tsongas garnered only 54,363. Not a huge drop in absolute numbers, to be sure — but, as you’d expect, turnout was higher for the general (28%) than for the day-after-Labor-Day primary (18%). So, since 37,000 more total voters showed up yesterday than for the two primaries, you have to be concerned about the roughly 1,100 vote differential between Tsongas’s total yesterday and total Dem turnout in September.
Presumably, the unenrolled contingent accounts for a lot of the disparity. Ogo picked up only about 12,000 votes in the primary, and his opponent had only 1,479, yet he had nearly 48,000 votes yesterday. But good heavens — if turnout yesterday was 37,000 votes higher than it was in the primaries, then the vast majority of those 37,000 voters voted for Ogo. Hmmm.
I’d be interested to hear from those who were heavily involved in GOTV for the general. What did Eileen Donoghue, Jamie Eldridge, etc. do to make sure their primary supporters turned out for Niki yesterday? Did the state party deploy its resources effectively? Did you talk to primary voters who weren’t sure they would show up for the general, and did you ask them why?
What can we learn from this election?