Democrats might have a serious problem on their hands heading into the 2016 general election, the New York Times reports. In the 15 states that have held primaries or caucuses already, approximately 3 million fewer Democratic voters turned out this year than did in 2008. According to the Huffington Post, this year's Democratic presidential candidates are getting about two-thirds of the votes the candidates got in 2008, and party leaders "should be very, very worried." Democratic voter turnout was especially bad in some Super Tuesday states, including a 50% drop-off in Texas and a 40% drop-off in Tennessee. And as HuffPo points out, it's become far more important in presidential races to turn out your own voters than win over independents.
Democrats are blaming everything from Republican-backed voting laws to poor debate scheduling for the low turnout. But HuffPo has a simpler explanation: "Republicans are psyched; Democrats are demoralized." NBC News reports the primary voting numbers are about the same as they were in 2008, but the parties are reversed. Republican voters outnumbered Democratic voters by 2.7 million on Super Tuesday, and the GOP has set turnout records in 14 out of 15 states so far. Even worse, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders aren't bringing out the huge numbers of young, new, and minority voters Obama did in 2008. “Barack Obama without that surge is John Kerry,” one pollster tells the Times. Or as HuffPo puts it: "It's time to start worrying about President Trump." (Read more Election 2016 stories.)