Virginia, North Dakota and Washington Republican Primaries
George W. Bush - 350,185 (52.9%)
John McCain - 290,774 (43.9%)
Alan Keyes - 20,274 (3.0%)
Turnout - 661,253 (17.7%)
George W. Bush - 6,865 (75.7%)
John McCain - 1,717 (18.9%)
Alan Keyes - 481 (5.3%)
Turnout - 9,063 (4.0%)
George W. Bush - 214,681(36.9%)
Al Gore - 148,335 (25.5%)
John McCain - 141,151(24.2%)
Bill Bradley - 68,550 (11.7%)
Alan Keyes - 8,955 (1.5%)
Turnout - 581,672 (18.6%)
Bush Romps on Burgeoning Apathy
Governor George W. Bush swept the Virginia, North Dakota and Washington primaries on declining voter turnout. While the turnout in New Hampshire was over 50%, and the Republican turnout in South Carolina over 26%, the negative campaigning and the constant discussion of whether it is proper for independents and Democrats to vote in a Republican Party primary is keeping the voters home.
When it comes time to dispense campaign matching funds from the federal treasury there is no discussion of whether it is proper or not to use the tax money of independents and Democrats to fund Republican Party campaign expenses. And of course, when the November General election comes around the Republicans will be begging for independents and Democrats to vote for them.
In Virginia, the Republican Party turnout was 17.7%. Clearly, the independents and Democrats stayed home. The 661,253 votes cast in the Virginia Republican primary was 58.5% of the Republican vote for Congress in 1998, when turnout was just a hair above 30%.
In North Dakota, the 9,063 votes cast in the Republican primary was just 4% of the votes cast in the 1998 General Election, and only 10.3% of the votes cast for the losing Republican House candidate that year. In 1998, North Dakota voted for the Democrats for federal office.
In Washington, the Republican Primary turnout was only 11.7% of the registered voters and only 46% of the total vote cast for the Republican House candidates in 1998. The Democrats won most federal offices in Washington in 1998. The turnout in the non-binding Democratic primary was 6.9%.
In order for Bush to win the Republican nomination, he has to restrict the franchise in the primary whether by fair means or foul. He tried to keep McCain's delegates off the New York ballot in some congressional districts until Forbes discovered forgeries in some of Bush's own petitions and a federal court finally ordered all the candidates on to the ballot.
Whether Bush will be able to reinvent himself in the fall as a candidate who can appeal to the independent and Democratic voters that he's working so hard to keep out of the Republican primaries remains to be seen.
This week was good for Gore.
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Contact: Joshua Leinsdorf
In North Dakota, which has no party registration, the