MTTP – If an Incumbent Gets 96 Percent of the Vote With 4 Percent Turnout, Does It Make a Sound?

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AP Photo/Adam Bettcher

If you weren’t paying close attention to political news over the weekend, you may have missed that there was a presidential primary election on Saturday. In fact, it sounds like a substantial number of voters in the state where the primary was held missed it, too. 

South Carolina held its Democratic primary — moved up three weeks so that it could be “first in the nation” for the Dems (if you don’t count New Hampshire, which they decided not to, in an effort either to juice President Joe Biden’s chances of a resounding win or reward Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-SC) for helping revive Biden’s floundering 2020 campaign — or both). 

To his credit, Biden did notch a resounding win in the Palmetto State. He garnered 96 percent of the vote, leaving Marianne Williamson and Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) in low-low single digits. Funny thing is, only about 131,000 people cast votes in the primary — out of over 3.4 million registered voters. Meaning less than four percent of the state’s registered voters bothered to participate in Saturday’s primary — and less than nine percent of the registered Democrats. 

Even taking into account Biden was the prohibitive favorite, that’s a decidedly unenthusiastic electorate. Which prompts one to ask: If an incumbent president gets 96 percent of the vote with only four percent turnout, does it make a sound?

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