Barely News: Nevada GOP Caucuses' Turnout More Than Doubles 2012

February 24th, 2016 10:33 AM

Yesterday morning, before the Republican Party's Nevada caucuses began, Nate Silver at the inexplicably hallowed FiveThirtyEight blog made a really naive and tone-deaf assumption. He reckoned that the caucuses would be a low turnout event, noting that in 2012, "only 1.9 percent of the voting-eligible population — about 33,000 people — participated in the Republican caucuses in Nevada," and spent hundreds of words speculating how that would affect each candidate's prospects.

Oops. This year's turnout in the Silver State more than doubled 2012:


The six candidates listed drew a combined 75,048 votes — an increase of 127 percent over the 33,000 Silver cited for 2012. The caucuses four years ago also occurred while the nomination battle was still fiercely competitive.

Meanwhile, as noted in a Sunday post, turnout in Nevada's Democratic caucuses was down by about one-third. While the Dems' reported vote count of "about 80,000" — estimated, because the party doesn't not reveal actual turnout, only the number of state party convention delegates selected — was slightly greater that the GOP's, that's likely entirely, if not more than entirely, due to the fact that the Democratic caucuses took place on a Saturday instead of a Tuesday.

The Reno Gazette-Journal is one of the few outlets quantifying the huge increase from 2012 to 2016:

More than 75,000 voters came out, easily more than double the 33,000 turnout of 2012 and a new record.

Outlets observing the high turnout without providing specifics included the UK Guardian; USA Today, which noted that it's a trend ("It appeared to be another record Republican turnout in Nevada, just as in the previous GOP contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina"); and the Washington Post, which only focused on the logistical impact.

An ABC News item went on and on analyzing relative turnout among various voter groups without discussing its size relative to 2012.

The New York Times only conceded that "Turnout in Nevada was reported to be high compared with previous caucuses." Reporters Alexander Burns and Nick Corasaniti must have lost track of their calculators.

None of the four relevant stories I found at the Associated Press (here, here, here, and here) contained the word "turnout," and none addressed it.

Cross-posted at