have painted a rosy picture for Republican prospects in the November elections, and now the GOP's chances also appear to be boosted by new data from this year's primaries.
An American University
study released Tuesday finds that the average statewide turnout by Republicans in primary contests topped that of the Democrats for the first time since 1930. Four million more votes were cast by GOP voters than by Democratic ones.
Democratic primary turnout, as a percent of the eligible electorate, was the lowest ever recorded during a midterm election, the researchers said.
"Given the intense intramural battles within the Republican Party and the growing belief that because of sour economic conditions and the opportunity they present for GOP gains in both houses of Congress and in the states, it isn't surprising that Republican turnout increased," AU's Curtis Gans said in a statement obtained by WhoRunsGov
. "But what's likely to prove telling is the lower participation of the Democrats, the first tangible demonstration of what polls have been showing -- a distinct lack of enthusiasm among the Democratic rank and file."
The study looked at 2010 statewide primaries held through August 28.
Read the full study by American University's Center for the Study of the American Electorate here