“While Trump’s insurgent candidacy has spurred record-setting Republican primary turnout in state after state, the early statistics show that the vast majority of those voters aren’t actually new to voting or to the Republican Party, but rather they are reliable past voters in general elections. They are only casting ballots in a Republican primary for the first time.
It is a distinction with profound consequences for the fall campaign.
If Trump isn’t bringing the promised wave of new voters into the GOP, it’s far less likely the Manhattan businessman can transform a 2016 Electoral College map that begins tilted against the Republican Party.”
In other words, Trump’s voters are not people who’ve sat on the sidelines in general elections. They’ve only sat on the sidelines in primaries. They have still shown up in general elections so they are not technically “new” voters.
In Iowa, the Republican caucus turnout smashed its past record by 50 percent this year, jumping from 121,000 to nearly 187,000. But, according to figures provided by the state party, 95 percent of the 2016 caucusgoers had previously voted in at least one of the past four presidential elections—and almost 80 percent had voted in at least three of the past four.
This is pretty significant data because it shows a few things.
First, it shows that many Trump voters really are not loyal, regular Republican voters, but they have not anchored the Republican Party to Trump.
Second, it shows that these people have already been showing up to vote in November and more likely than not they were voting GOP already. While more people may turn out to support Trump in the primary, those votes are, to an extent, banked already in November. Trump will certainly turn out even more in November, but the anti-Trump vote will also turn out in large numbers.
Right now there is no guarantee that Trump will offset the Democrat advantage plus new voters coming in to stop Trump.