Super Tuesday has come and gone. While it appears to have done what the parties wanted on the Republican side by narrowing the field down to one presumptive winning candidate (though McCain still has a resurgent Huckabee nipping at his heels in the South), the Democrats appear to be no closer to reaching a decision.
Two interesting things I observed locally. First, turnout: according to the numbers reported by the Globe, 18,027 people voted in Arlington (my home town) in the primary. As of 2006, Arlington had 28,022 registered voters. That’s something like 64% of the registered voters turning out for a primary. People are motivated here.
And they’re motivated to do more than build a horse race between two candidates. The Globe’s numbers included a nontrivial number of people who voted for candidates who had already dropped out of the race, including Edwards and Kucinich. While there’s no doubt that a large number of those were people who voted absentee before the candidate withdrew from the race, I have anecdotal evidence that that isn’t all that is going on.
I spoke to an Edwards supporter last night who said that, while he had voted absentee before Edwards withdrew, he would have voted for him anyway and he knew quite a few other Edwards supporters who were planning to do the same. Their reason: they were indifferent between Obama and Clinton, and wanted the party to consider Edwards’s platform issues at the convention, particularly his stance on poverty.
2008 is shaping up to be a very interesting election indeed.