What’s really going on in this election?

obamacheesehead.jpgIt looks like my candidate of choice, Barack Obama, sailed to an easy victory over Hillary Clinton tonight in the Wisconsin primary. That’s good news, as far as I’m concerned. I’m also glad to see John McCain taking a decisive victory over Mike Huckabee (sorry, I refuse to provide a link), even though I still find it disturbing that 37% of the voters in the Republican primary were willing to support a candidate who proudly professes his disbelief in evolution. I don’t really want McCain to win the general election, and I know he’ll pose a much tougher challenge to the Democratic nominee than any of the other Republicans could hope to, but I can live with a McCain presidency. If someone as willfully ignorant as Huckabee won, though, I might just have to move to Canada. (And that’s a promise I couldn’t even keep when Bush got re-elected.)

When I saw that Huckabee 37% number, I also noticed the stunning disparity in total number of Democratic vs. Republican voters in said primary:

Wisconsin primary results, 2/19/2008
Source: MSNBC

I know Democrats have been turning out in higher numbers than Republicans this year, and that Wisconsin, although generally considered a “battleground” state, has tended to lean ever-so-slightly left or, if you must, “blue.” But still, this is a huge difference: Hillary Clinton, the decisive loser in the Democratic race, garnered more than twice the number of votes as the winner of the Republican race.

Tally up the total number of votes (with 92% of precincts reporting), and the Democrats had nearly 1,000,000 votes, while the Republicans just scraped above 370,000.

Again, I’m sure there are several contributing factors that increased this year’s Democratic turnout (and decreased Republican turnout), but I think we should not gloss over the fact that the electorate is skewing this strongly to the Democrats. I would have to do some research on how primary voting has split between the parties in past elections before coming to any grandiose (or paranoid) conclusions about all of this, but for now I will just make a mental note of the state of affairs here in February, and compare results come November.