In Florida, Alex Sink won the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Insurgent outsider and former health-care executive Rick Scott narrowly edged out Republican Attorney General Bill McCollum, who had a big lead in the polls. (A third candidate may have doomed McCollum, drawing more than 10 percent of the vote.)
But the real story is the gigantic gap in turnout. The Democrat race drew about 862,000 voters; the Republicans drew about 1.28 million voters. In other words, about 420,000 more Republicans than Democrats turned out. By contrast, in the 2006 gubernatorial primary, the gap was only about 100,000 in the GOP’s favor. (Charlie Crist went on to win in the general election.)
The same story is true in the Senate primary races. In the contested Democratic primary, the turnout was about 909,000. In Marco Rubio’s walkaway victory, about 1.25 million voters cast ballots. The Marco Rubio campaign emails that their vote total, over a million, is “the most votes ever cast for a candidate in a Republican Senate primary.” The gap between Rubio and the Democrats’ combined total is about 340,000 votes.
Now, that’s an enthusiasm chasm.