2016 Primary Voters: High Turnout But Low Information

This week in Texas politics with the politics reporter at the Texas Tribune.

By Rhonda FanningMarch 4, 2016 2:45 pm,

And since it’s Friday that also means Aman Batheja, politics reporter for the Texas Tribune, will help us sort out the week in Texas politics.

Super Tuesday in Texas meant Texans got to cast their ballot in their party’s presidential primary as well as some state and local races too. Batheja says voter turn-out matched 2008, but with numbers for the parties swapped – a high Republican turn-out coupled with a solid Democratic turn-out this year versus the flip for the 2008 primary.

“It brought in a lot of voters who did not know much about the ballot beyond the presidential race,” he says. “(Voters) say if they don’t know about a race, often they’ll just pick a name.”

Batheja says the Travis County GOP chair is a good example of a low-information race. “It’s fair to say most of the voters who voted for him had no idea about his views,” he says. “They didn’t know that they were voting against the incumbent…. The theory is that his name was first.”

On the Democratic side, Lon Burnam, in the race for Railroad Commissioner, had all the newspaper endorsements and support of the establishment but he came in last.

“The feeling is there were a lot of low-information voters who came in and just picked a name,” he says.

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– What Caitlyn Jenner’s support for Ted Cruz could mean for the Log Cabin Republicans at CPAC 

– How the GOP debate last night marked a new low for “least presidential-sounding debate,” says Batheja

– Whether Ted Cruz has given up on converting Trump voters