In states that held statewide primary elections in 2022 & 2018 and have a Partisan Voting Index score between D+5 and R+5, Republican Primary turnout was on average 4% higher than in 2018 relative to total active voter registration, 9% higher relative to total eligible voter registration, and 53% higher on a total vote basis.
Democratic Primary turnout was down 1% since 2018 relative to total voter registration, down 2% relative total eligible voter registration, and 3% higher on a total vote basis.
The large difference between relative change and total vote change is due to a 10% increase in total voter registration in my reference states.
Reference states: (Partisan Voting Index score between D+5 and R+5 & held statewide primary elections in 2022 & 2018)
· New Mexico
Republican turnout increases in our reference state were at their highest in increasingly competitive Georgia and Pennsylvania. Both states just concluded highly polarizing Senate and Gubernatorial primaries, but its worth noting that while Pennsylvania had an extremely competitive U.S. Senate race where Dr. Oz won by 0.2%, Georgia’s most competitive GOP primary was for Secretary of State where incumbent Brad Raffensperger won by a large 19%. Perception of competitiveness, high levels of spending, interest, and overall enthusiasm are merging and driving voters to turnout even when races aren’t particularly competitive.
Though turnout relative to voter registration is the best we can do in most of the above states, there are a few states that report registration by party and allow us to get an even better look at the increase in GOP turnout by viewing turnout relative to eligible voters. All of the below states have closed primaries except for Colorado, so Colorado’s eligible voters include unaffiliated voters (which account for 45% of registered voters).
The above numbers paint a clearer picture of the increases in Republican turnout between 2018 and 2022, as they strip away the weight of the Democratic registration numbers and get us closer to the increase in turnout relative to the number of those who can actually participate in each election. The result of this exercise was finding a much more pronounced increase in Republican primary turnout.
In Nevada, the increase relative to registered possible participants was over 5x higher than the increase relative to total voter registration. In Iowa, this metric was 3x higher than the increase relative to voter registration. In Pennsylvania and Nebraska it was 2x higher or greater.
As mentioned above, our other reference states do not break out party by registration so we cannot create this metric. However, it is safe to assume that the increase in Republican primary turnout in those states is being understated by the Republican turnout relative to total registration metric.
Composition of the above primary electorates have notably changed since the 2018 primaries as well, signaling widespread and quantifiable Republican enthusiasm. In reference states, on average, Republicans made up 59% of primary turnout, a 10% increase from their share of primary turnout in 2018. In all states below, Republicans made up 61% of turnout a 10% increase since 2018.
GEORGIA & OHIO REPUBLICAN PRIMARY DEEP DIVE:
The age and gender composition of the Republican primary electorate in 2022 was nearly identical to 2018, therefor not a factor in the spikes in turnout in both states.
General Election Vote Frequency
Another factor that was mostly the same, was the general election vote frequency of the 2022 primary electorate compared to the 2018 electorate. Both electorates were dominated by highly engaged, frequent general election voters.
Primary Election Vote Frequency
The main factor driving the spike in 2022 turnout is infrequent primary voters voting in the primary. In Ohio in 2018, 56% of the primary electorate had voted in at least the last 3 of 4 primary elections- in 2022 that number was 44%.
In Georgia in 2018, 53% of the primary electorate had voted in at least the last 3 of 4 primary elections- in 2022 that number was 32%. A substantial 25% of the 2022 Republican Primary electorate had not voted in any of the last 4 primary elections.
Who We Are:
Traditional polling is becoming more expensive and less accurate. Alloy Analytics was founded to address this problem. By combining the best techniques created by traditional pollsters with modern polling technology, Alloy Analytics has created a fast, affordable, and accurate answer to traditional polling.
We utilize the full range of outreach methods to reach voters more efficiently and accurately than traditional pollsters. By blending samples of live calls, text-to-web, and voter file matched online panels we reach the full range of voters that traditional pollsters using only live call polls and traditional weighting are missing.
Traditional pollsters have become unreliable due to surveying too many hyper engaged voters and voters that trust institutions more than average. Alloy Analytics addresses this by layering in multiple screeners and weighting questions , so our samples more accurately reflect actual turnout.
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