Republicans continued to shatter turnout records in their presidential primaries and caucuses Tuesday, while Democrats lagged behind in what analysts said was a clear indication of an enthusiasm gap heading into the general election.
Virginia’s GOP primary tallied more than 1 million votes, shattering the record set in 2000 by more than 50 percent. Democrats, meanwhile, were 200,000 votes shy of their own record, set in the contested 2008 primary.
In Tennessee, GOP turnout crossed the 800,000-vote mark, leapfrogging the previous record by nearly 50 percent.
Records were also likely to be set in Georgia, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Massachusetts.
Democrats, though, were struggling, seeing turnout drop by massive levels in all of their races Tuesday night. That included Vermont and Arkansas, where their two candidates had home-state advantages of sorts, yet still couldn’t match the enthusiasm of the 2008 contest.
GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump said he’s the chief reason for the shifts in both parties, saying he’s drawn Democrats and independents into the Republican process this year, boosting his party at the expense of Democrats.
Read more: The Washington Times