The real story of the three results from Tuesday night is not that Rick Santorum picked up some wins — though that is big. No, the real story is that three states held votes and nobody came. Almost nobody, that is. Consider that the total turnout for Missouri, Colorado, and Minnesota combined was barely over half of the turnout of South Carolina alone and — worse yet — barely over half the turnout for the same three states in 2008.
Thus, after South Carolina’s record-setting primary turnout, the Republican Party has now seen a total of five events in a row where turnout was down compared to 2008. This includes the three events from this week along with Nevada and Florida.
Yes, something has made Republicans less excited about beating Barack Obama than they were about John McCain maybe replacing George W. Bush. Who knew that was even possible?
The answer is fairly clear. The candidates have forgotten about Obama. What has turned folks off is Mitt Romney’s scorched-earth campaign, which has managed to unfortunately suck all the rest of the candidates into a circular firing squad of a childish food-fight that is of zero interest to the Republican base voter.