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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Low Voter Turnout in 2010 NM Primary Favors Candidates Popular With Active Party Members

Liveblog now at NMI!

Polls are open until 7:00 PM tonight. Find your precinct polling place and a sample ballot here.

It's no surprise that voter turnout in this mid-term primary is low -- it always is. It IS surprising that it's as low as it reportedly has been today -- until one considers that election day falls on the day after the Memorial Day weekend -- a time when many folks are taking trips, recovering from Memorial Day parties or hanging out with their kids who are now out of school for the summer. Original projections that turnout would be about 28-30% are now apparently being lowered, based on very low turnout being reported at a variety of precincts around the state.

Who is helped by low primary turnout? It's a given that a majority of active party members vote early. Virtually all of them vote, either early or on election day. If turnout is low on election day itself, that generally means that less active party supporters and members aren't turning out. That, in turn, would mean that candidates popular with active party members would be casting a significant percentage of the votes. Thus, the results would favor those candidates who won strong support within the party during its pre-primary convention, along with those who gained enthusiastic and loyal supporters during their primary campaigns via grassroots efforts.

In the case of the Democrats, here's how the pre-primary convention voting turned out in major contested races:

Lt. Governor
Brian Colon: 591 votes 34.54%
Lawrence Rael: 379 votes 22.15
Jose Campos: 337 votes 19.69%
Ortiz y Pino: 323 votes 18.87%
Linda Lopez: 81 votes 4.73%

Land Commissioner
Ray Powell, 44.4%
Harry Montoya, 19.3%
Sandy Jones, 18.6%
Mike Anaya, 17.6%

NM Court of Appeals
Judge Linda M. Vanzi 72.32%
Dennis W. Montoya 27.68%

We'll see how that matches the final results, but I predict the Dem winners will come close to matching this list. Of course, there's always a possibility that a certain candidate can turn out significant numbers of supporters on election day who aren't generally active in the party, but I think that's a long shot.

June 1, 2010 at 05:51 PM in 2010 Democratic Primary Results, 2010 Judicial Races, 2010 NM Land Commissioner Race, 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Brian Colon, Democratic Party | Permalink

Comments

You were right, Barb!

Posted by: Old Dem | Jun 1, 2010 10:57:56 PM

You told us so! I was surprised the Linda Lopez did so well, beating Jerry Ortiz y Pino. I'm told Jerry's vote to furlough state workers really hurt him, but WDIK?

Posted by: Proud Democrat | Jun 2, 2010 12:06:36 AM