The Myth of Voter Turnout and Bernie Sanders’ Success

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May 3, 2016 by Chris Kite

Bernie Sanders and many of his supporters love to complain about the fact that he has done best when voter turnout is highest. But that simply isn’t true. He’s done best in caucus states, with a few exceptions.

It’s true that the three states with the highest turnout, he won. But one of those is his home state and the other is a neighbor. After those first three highest voter turnout states, he lost the next five, and won only one of the next ten. In other words, he won four of the top 13 voter turnout states.

He has done very well in caucus states, winning most of them. But turnout in caucus states is very low by nature.

It is fair to say that the system is rigged, if by a rigged system, you mean that the Democratic Party controls the process. It is fair to say that the system should be reformed. But it is not accurate to say that Bernie Sanders has won the states with the best voter turnout, unless you’re going to limit it to the top three states!

The numbers don’t lie.

As I’ve said from the beginning of the Bernie Sanders campaign, I like his message. I like his policy ideas. But he is too far left of center to capture the hearts and minds of many U.S. voters. Our country has traditionally elected centrist candidates. That is the way it has been and the way it still is.

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