The number of Democrats who voted in Super Tuesday states this cycle was down 32 percent this year compared to 2008, according to a Daily Caller analysis of primary and caucus results.
Meanwhile, GOP turnout was up a monstrous 61 percent in Super Tuesday states compared to 2008 and up 73 percent compared to 2012.
The huge disparity is further evidence of the so-called enthusiasm gap that is a growing cause of concern for Democrats. In the first four primaries and caucuses, Democratic turnout was down 26 percent compared to 2008. Democratic party leaders — as well as the campaign of prospective nominee Hillary Clinton — are worried that the trend will continue through to the general election in November. (RELATED: Democratic Voter Turnout Is Down A Whopping 26% In 2016 Compared To 2008)
Overall, 5.8 million Democrats voted in 11 Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses. That’s well off the 8.56 million that hit the polls in those same states in 2008, which saw a new wave of Democratic registrants eager to cast a vote for then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.
Turnout virtually cratered in Texas, which Clinton won in both cycles. There, just over 1.4 million voted this go-round compared to 2.87 million in 2008. The 51 percent slide is the steepest of any of the contests held Tuesday.
Turnout was also down significantly in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Tennessee. It fell 28 percent, 34 percent, 29 percent, and 41 percent in those states, respectively.
The upside for Clinton, who won seven of the 11 Super Tuesday states that were up for grabs, is that the states with the largest drop in turnout are red and are unlikely to select a Democrat come November.
But turnout also dipped significantly in Virginia, a key battleground state. In 2008 just over 986,000 voted in the primary. This year, around 780,000 showed up, marking a 21 percent decline.
Republicans, led by Donald Trump, are a completely different story.
Around 8.2 million voters cast a vote in 11 Super Tuesday states this year. That’s compared to 5.1 million who showed up in 2008 and 4.7 million who voted in 2012.The most jarring jump was in Virginia, where turnout this cycle increased by 107 percent compared to 2008 and 282 percent compared to 2012. Trump won this cycle’s contest while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won in 2012. Arizona Sen. [crscore]John McCain[/crscore] carried the state in 2008.
Texas, which carries the highest number of delegates, also saw a gigantic 91 percent spike compared to 2008 as well as an 80 percent jump compared to 2012.
One difference between the GOP and Democratic contests is that Republicans held caucuses in Alaska while Democrats caucused in Colorado. Just over 21,000 caucused for in Alaska compared to just over 120,000 in Colorado.