The number of Republican voters from the 2022 primary election compared to the 2018 primary was much higher, while Democrats saw a drop in turnout.
In 2018, Republicans had a turnout of approximately 194,000 voters for the primary. This year, turnout for Republicans hit over 280,000 voters.
Several factors could have led to the increase in Republican turnout.
First, Idaho’s population continues to grow rapidly, increasing the number of voters in the state. Second, the number of groups who spent large amounts of money for the primary election was higher than in previous primary elections. Additionally, some crossover voters from the Democrat party and new voters who were previously unaffiliated and changed to Republican account for some of the increase.
Democrats, in comparison, had a turnout of approximately 66,000 voters in 2018, but less than half that number voted this year, with just 31,000 voters.
Part of the decline in Democrat numbers could have been that only one candidate was listed on the ballot, Stephen Heidt.
Two other candidates ran in the Democrat race, but both were write-in candidates, which are considered more difficult campaigns to run, especially since their names don’t appear for voters to see. Instead, voters have to write the name of their preferred candidate on the ballot.
Shelby Rognstad, the mayor of Sandpoint, had launched his campaign last fall but had failed to register as a Democrat. According to the Secretary of State’s office, Rognstad was a registered Republican on the last day of filing.
The other write-in candidate, Dave Reilly, was also a Republican before changing to Democrat and running on the Democrat ticket.
In addition to the lack of candidates listed on the ballot, some Democrats had switched over to the Republican party to vote in the primary.
It remains to be seen what the general election will hold for both parties in the mid-terms. However, on a national scale, polling suggests Republicans will take the U.S. House and possibly the U.S. Senate.
Here in Idaho, it is unclear what redistricting will mean for portions of the state that are considered “swing” districts.
Republicans already have a majority for the 2023 session as Democrats did not file in enough races that Republicans were guaranteed to run the statehouse once again as the “majority.”
What do you think will happen in the 2022 general election? Let us know in the comments below.
Tags: 2018 Primary Election, 2022 Primary Election, Democrat Party, Republican Party