And speaking of turnout...

We heard Bernie Sanders say in the last debate that Democrats needed a large turnout in 2020.

In principle, Sanders is right.  We saw high turnout in 2008 with Obama.  We saw high turnout in Texas, and Senator Ted Cruz won by three points.

So how is Democrat turnout so far?

According to Rolling Stone, turnout may be a problem for Democrats:

For the Democrats, the story is less rosy. 

Historic turnout in the 2018 midterm elections and several special elections since Trump took office has not yet translated into similar outpourings of voter energy in the first four primaries and caucuses. 

Political scientists and voting experts tell Rolling Stone that the turnout so far is good but not great. In several states more people voted, or a higher share of the voting-eligible population voted, than did four years ago. 

But the numbers so far have not met the high-water mark of the 2008 campaign.

"We're not seeing the sort of eye-popping turnout numbers we've seen over the last couple of years we've seen since Trump became president," says Michael McDonald, a political scientist at the University of Florida who specializes in American elections.

McDonald says there could be several explanations for why the early 2020 contests haven't hit 2008 turnout levels despite the high stakes of the election. 

"This is a choice between Democratic candidates, and so people who might be enthused or excited to vote against Trump are largely sitting on the sidelines at the moment," he says. "They don't really care who the Democratic nominee is going to be. It's going to be a Democrat and that's enough for them."

One reason for that, he says, is that the 2020 Democratic primary doesn't have the same history-making feel to it. 

Twelve years ago, Democrats had a clear choice between nominating the first African American candidate or the first woman candidate. 

The size of the field could also have a dampening effect as Democrats struggle to decide which candidate to support. 

"The historic nature isn't there," McDonald says.

True — there is nothing historic about three white men seeking the Democrat nomination.

To be fair, there is time for Democrats to show up in November.  However, I think the "turnout" problem may twofold:

1. What message do Democrats have?  How many times can you scream that Trump is a racist before people tune you out?  Ask the kid who kept screaming wolf in the famous story.

2. We may be seeing confirmation that President Trump is gaining with Hispanics and African-Americans.  I guess the lowest unemployment in history may be persuading some that keeping the economy booming is more important than another promise that Democrats won't keep.

We will see what happens on Super Tuesday.

Turnout, so far, is not really what Democrats will need in November.

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