The turnout for the Iowa caucuses was not what Democrats — who are banking on high turnout to defeat President Trump in November — hoped for, with 176,000 Iowans participating in the caucuses across the state, according to the Associated Press (AP).
The number pales in comparison to the 238,000 who turned out in 2008.
Approximately 176,000 Iowans participated in the caucuses across the Hawkeye State on Monday, a figure the AP describes as “a number of disappointments” for Democrats. While it is 5,000 more than the 171,109 who participated in 2016, it does not come close to the turnout the left saw in 2008, causing concern among Democrats as the general election draws closer.
“The number is certain to rattle Democrats who are banking on high turnout in battlegrounds across the country to win in November,” the AP reports, adding that it “raises doubts about whether Iowa is winnable by Democrats, after a recent shift toward Republicans.”
“It was lower than I expected,” said Norm Sterzenbach, former Iowa Democratic Party executive director, according to the AP. “It was definitely lower than what the conventional wisdom was.”
Democrats have recently signaled that they are not planning on waging a serious war to win over Iowa in the general election, evidently dismissing it, this election year, as a Republican stronghold.
As Breitbart News detailed:
Iowa has carried its status as a “quintessential general-election battleground” state, but Politico asserts it “won’t be the case this year,” citing Democrats who no longer consider it a true battleground and are, therefore, conceding it to President Trump.
Indeed, Iowa remained a Democrat stronghold for over a decade, going to the Democrat presidential candidate in 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2000. Former President George W. Bush managed to squeak out a narrow victory in 2004 by less than a full percentage point, but the Hawkeye State ultimately went with former President Barak Obama in both 2008 and 2012. President Trump, however, managed to defeat his Democrat challenger, Hillary Clinton, in Iowa in 2016, winning by nearly ten percentage points.
According to Politico, Democrats are not planning on putting up a fight this year, largely due to the GOP’s strength among rural voters.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) touted the strong turnout among young voters in Iowa during Friday night’s Democrat debate but conceded that Democrats failed to invigorate their base across the board.
“That’s a disappointment, and I think all of us probably could have done a better job of bringing out our supporters,” he said while maintaining a stroke of optimism.
“I’m very proud that in Iowa, we won the popular vote by 6,000 votes. What was most significant, most significant is we increased voter turnout for young people under 29 by over 30 percent,” Sanders said.
“We do that nationally, we’re going to defeat Donald Trump,” he added.