Democratic primary numbers don't surprise the experts

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Some interesting numbers came out of Tuesday's election. Here is one that caught our attention: 392,220 people voted in the Democratic primary. That's far more than voted in the Republican primary, which had 297,191.

Reed Guice, who has served as a consultant to a number of political candidates over the years, told us that he was not the slightest bit surprised.

"We have always had a large turnout in these Democratic primaries, because of the legislative and supervisors being in those primaries," Guice said.

In other words, as the saying goes, all elections are local. Statewide, the Democratic party always seems to get more candidates in the primaries for the local offices.

Long time political observer, Dr. Pat Smith of USM said it is always the races that are closest to home that get the voters to the polls.

As for the governor's race, it might appear whomever makes it out of the Democratic runoff, might have an edge going into the general election. Smith said that is not really the case.

"It really is a different election in November," Smith pointed out.

To prove the point, all you have to do is look at the numbers from the gubernatorial election in 1991.

In 1991, when businessman Kirk Fordice became governor, the primary numbers looked like this: 726,465 Democrats voted, while just 63,561 Republicans made it to the polls. More than seven times as many people voted in the Democratic primary than the Republican primary.

But yet, on general election day, the numbers evened out, and gave the advantage to the Republicans. Fordice won with 361,500 votes, over Ray Mabus with 338,459 votes.

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