OUR POLARIZED ELECTORATE….So the final turnout for the Iowa Democratic caucuses turned out to be 239,000, fantastically higher than in any previous year. Obviously this is partly because Dems spent a ton of money, had three very attractive candidates, and were selling to an electorate that’s really charged up and thinks it can win this year. But at the very least, it also seems to indicate that a polarized, partisan political environment doesn’t turn people off of politics. Right? And why should it? By their very nature, most European countries have a political environment that’s more polarized and partisan than ours and always has been, and yet they continue to vote in large numbers. Larger than ours, anyway.
So: clear choices, strong emotions, and partisan loyalties are good for voter participation and voter turnout. I hereby declare Broderish bipartisanship the loser in last night’s caucuses. On to New Hampshire!