Early Exit Polls Show Good Indications For Mitt

Well, I said it earlier today, and it’s starting to look about right.  If you have a high turnout, particularly among non Republicans voting in the Republican primary, look for John McCain to do well.  If turnout remains low, and mostly among Republicans, look for a Mitt win.

While the final answer has yet to be announced, early exit polling data is definitely pointing in one candidate’s favor.

The two primary points, reported on by Foon Rhee, are the facts that there has been a ten point drop from 2000 in the number of independents voting in the Republican primary, and that the lack of a Democratic contest has driven down the overall turnout.

Quick recap.  The drop in independent voters is significant because this points to one of the biggest disparities between McCain and Romney support.  Heading into this contest, Mitt led John by ten points among Republican voters, but Romney lead McCain by a huge margin among independents.  As a result, if independent turnout was low, that weakens McCain’s chances of overcoming Romney’s Republican surplus.

As for overall turnout, this again hinders possible support from outside the party.  Had there been a large overall turnough despite the lack of a Democratic contest, then it is reasonable to assume that all those independents and Democrats might be looking for the Republican they would vote for… that would be McCain.  But according to the exit polls, a great chunk of those folks decided to stay home, which robs another potential pool of votes that McCain was hoping to grab.

It’s beginning to look like Romney’s finally gonna get that big win he’s been looking for.

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