There was talk of an "enthusiasm gap" because of some low turnout numbers from early primaries. But The Fix is reporting that trend turning around and numbers of primary voters are now surpassing those from 2008:
Fix review of turnout in the Republican presidential nominating process shows that it has rebounded in recent weeks, and GOP voters are now turning out in consistently higher numbers than they did in 2008.
In addition, in the most competitive Republican contests held this year, turnout is up almost universally, with just a couple exceptions.
Turnout is up in all four states that have held major contests since Super Tuesday -- Kansas, Alabama, Mississippi and Illinois -- and is up overall in eight of 12 contests held this month for which there was a comparable contest held four years ago.
The only states where turnout has been down so far this month have been Massachusetts and Georgia, the home states of Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, and in Oklahoma and Tennessee. In Tennessee, it was down 1 percent, while in Oklahoma it was down 15 percent.
Turnout was up slightly in two states -- Alaska and Illinois -- up 13 percent in Alabama, up 19 percent in both North Dakota and Ohio, up 53 percent in both Vermont and Kansas, and it more than doubled in Mississippi last week. (It should be noted that Mississippi's 2008 contest was held March 11, a week after John McCain secured a majority of delegates and Mike Huckabee dropped out.)
Overall, there are 24 contests that can be compared fairly to 2008. Add them up and turnout is up 2 percent so far this year and has risen in 15 of the 24 states.
Primary turnout is not always indicative of how many people vote in the general election. But for the base at least, it appears that there is enough enthusiasm for their favorites that it bodes well for November.