Judging by the turnout so far in Republican presidential primaries, the party’s voters are less than thrilled with the field. As Bill Kristol points out, 12 percent fewer voters went to the Florida polls this year than four years ago. That follows weaker than expected Republican turnout in Iowa and New Hampshire.
These data support the general consensus that the field is weak, and the candidates suffer from a lack of intensity in their support. (This contrasts sharply with the 2008 Democrats, who had two candidates with fervent support and record turnout throughout the long primary season.)
This is curious, given the opportunity to win, and the strong Republican antipathy to President Obama. Perhaps the enthusiasm will build and be there on Election Day. But through the primaries so far, there is a warning sign of relative Republican indifference.