Statistics from March 1 Super Tuesday primaries 2016 versus 2008:

More stats:

Super Tuesday March 1, 2016 Voter Statistics (Source: NPR) ...

Republican: +81% 2016 versus 2012

Democrat: -31% 2016 versus 2008 (No Democratic primary 2012)

8.5 million Republicans voted in the 11 GOP Super Tuesday states that reported results. In those same 11 states in 2012, turnout totaled only around 4.7 million.
Among Democrats in the 11 states reporting results for Super Tuesday, turnout totaled only around 5.9 million, 2.6 million fewer people than came out in those states in 2008.

Based on those numbers, and after reading the excellent analysis in Chris Hedges' article linked at the end of this post, I have a few observations based on the current situation in the 2016 Presidential election process. This temperature reading taken just after the March 1, 2016 Super Tuesday results.

First. Voter turnout will be a key factor in presidential election. This seems to be Mr. Donald Trump's ... trump card. Clearly there are a whole lot of people more voting in the early primaries than in the previous two election cycles on the Republican side. The low turnout so far among Democrats should give Mr. Sanders concern since his campaign is predicated on a "revolutionary" voter turnout. 

Second. There is a third party in the making among the electorate. The so called Tea Party was the first glimmerings. But that group seemed to be from among the Republican ranks and about being way far right of the Republican center. The new, yet unnamed, third party appears to be a broader base. It may even cut across both party lines, including particularly those whose fear and loathing has brought them to the polls in record numbers for the first time. If there is in fact a de facto third party brewing, it appears to belong to Donald Trump. Or, to whomever now or in the future reflects his kind of authoritarian posture. By his own boast, he is responsible for bringing a lot of new people to the Republican party. 

Here's my thinking. Traditional Democrats, they vote Democratic. Traditional Republicans, vote Republican. But, then, there's Donald Trump. He may be a nominal Republican, and many of his supporters may also come from somewhere in the former traditional GOP base; but the strong increase in Republican turnout may come from the broad swath of the disaffected, disgusted, and disenfranchised who coalesce around the likes of The Donald. Many of whom heretofore have not factored in the electoral equation. Probably there are some Democrats in there also. I don't believe they owe any allegiance to the traditional two big parties, particularly since those parties have proven themselves to be beholden to special, corporate interests. Exactly what all those Trump voters are fed up with. And, interestingly, what Mr. Trump is campaigning against. The politics of special interests and business as usual.

Trump is the only Republican candidate who — believably — can lay claim to not be touched by any corporate lobby pressure. Bernie Sanders, the same on the Democratic side. Except in Mr. Sanders' case his pitch is more intellectual and heartfelt. Mr. Trump's is from the gut. And, if I'm measuring the temperament of the zeitgeist correctly, that's where the fervor exists. Anger, frustration. Feeling marginalized, tricked, and exploited.

Mr. Sanders can't be too cheered by the low Democrat primary turnout. Particularly since his pitch seems to be predicated on a voter revolution; i.e., voter turnout, and in large numbers. That may happen, but he'll have to persuade a lot of people to tear themselves away from the TV to see that happen. Plus, he has the obstacle that Clinton — and the media — are fostering by framing it like Hillary Clinton has it in the bag and is now the presumed Democrat candidate. Bolstered by the notion that Bernie is not electable. I get it that Hillary would want to say that. But, the media? Also, there's that bugaboo about Sanders being a Socialist. Those same people who are mobilized to support Donald Trump are probably not at all attracted to the term "Socialist". Even though Bernie Sanders has made it clear on that subject. But, as they say, you can't convince anyone whose mind is already made up. 

That's my amateur pundit analysis. Read the article from the noted Chris Hedges and see where I'm getting my take on things. It's must reading. For sure.

There's More ...

"Beyond being almost alarmingly prescient, this theory [The Rise of American Authorianism] speaks to an oft-stated concern about Trump: that what's scariest is not the candidate, but rather the extent and fervor of his support." Read another excellent, informative article.

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