Texas Political Lobbyist News: Will Romney’s Nomination Mean Low Voter Turnout in Texas?
This political analysis is provided by the Texas Lobby Group for Texas political lobbyists, political consultants, government officials, and other interested people.
Texas seems to be facing the possibility of very low voter turnout for our primary elections in May this year. Low voter turnout is generally something everyone wants to avoid. However, it is hard to say which politicians are hurt the most by it. Some say that unknown candidates do better in large turnout elections because more people showing up for national issues or elections will vote a straight ticket. Without a compelling national issue, will these voters show up at all?
Texas Redistricting Battle Moves Election Date to May
The first factor in the predicted low voter turnout is the difficult issue of redistricting in Texas. Our state visits political districting every ten years, and it’s always a controversial issue. Last session’s redistricting has led to courtroom battles across the state that have lasted since 2011. These have finally sorted themselves out and we’re ready for our primary elections. Unfortunately, the usual Texas primary election date in March has been moved to May.
Late Primary Date in Texas Means No Battle Between Romney and Santorum
With Texas conservative voters generally less supportive of Mitt Romney, the lack of a heated battle between Romney and Santorum could lead to low voter turnout. Ambivalent Texas conservatives might not show up in droves to cast a seemingly unnecessary vote for a candidate they are not happy about. Without a tough battle between Romney and Santorum, one wonders how many Texas voters will be out to vote in the primary election.
Sadly, a low voter turnout could leave some local elections in a lurch. Without a compelling national issue, local elections may suffer. Candidates who feel they need a strong voter turnout to compete may be disappointed. There will be certain local elections with popular candidates and local issues that may drive voters to the polls while some parts of the state experience a sluggish turnout at best.
From Texas Weekly
Volume 29, Issue 14, 09 April 2012
“The Senate race hasn’t generated that sort of interest outside of the five blocks surrounding the state Capitol…Both major parties told the redistricting courts that delaying primaries would suppress turnout, create confusion and uncertainty, and threaten their convention planning and organization. Looks like they knew what they were talking about.”