On today's Rick's List, CNN anchor Rick Sanchez brandished those reportorial skills for which he's so famous. He and national political correspondent Jessica Yellin discussed Tuesday's primaries and the "Sarah Palin and the Tea Party influences." Not surprisingly, they agreed they had little impact:
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yesterday's elections showed that there was very limited turnout. One of the things we have heard is that the Tea Party movement was going to energize the base, stoke up turnout, especially on the Republican side. And in the key Republican races -- there were two in Indiana especially -- the incumbents won. Now, their margin of victory was more narrow, but the Tea Party movement didn't throw the bums out, as you said.
YELLIN: So, it's still to be determined whether they will have a huge influence in November.
SANCHEZ: Well, I know, but we got one of the first runs where we get to -- where we get to take a look at something like this, the...
SANCHEZ: ... and the -- the -- the polls showed that the turnout was way, way underwhelming. Not only that. The three guys -- or five guys, whatever the number is, the number of guys who actually won last night...
The truth is the turnout was uncharacteristically low - for Democrats. But it was much different on the Republican side. As noted in today's National Journal's Hotline article "Dem Turnout Falls Off a Cliff" by Reid Wilson:
By contrast, GOP turnout was up almost across the board. 373K people voted in (Senator Richard) Burr's (R-NC) uncompetitive primary, nearly 9% higher than the 343K who voted in the equally non-competitive primary in '04. Turnout in House races in IN rose 14.6% from '06, fueled by the competitive Senate primary, which attracted 550K voters. And 728K voters cast ballots for a GOP Sec/State nominee in Ohio, the highest-ranking statewide election with a primary; in '06, just 444K voters cast ballots in that race.
Moreover, as reported by the Associated Press's Liz Sidoti and Deanna Martin, "By the end of the day, however, the Republican turnout in the (Indiana) Senate primary was the highest this decade, including presidential election years."
Very limited turnout, asserts Jessica Yellin. Way, way underwhelming, declares Rick Sanchez. Mainstream media types like them are scared to death of what may happen in November. And it's already showing.