As Democrat's Super Tuesday Results Made All the News, Turnout Indicates President Trump's Strength Extends Beyond Republicans to Independents

One reaction to Tuesday's results might be, "Wow, look how strong Donald Trump is."

By Byron York

The Democratic Super Tuesday primaries made all the news, but many states had Republican primaries, too. The results of those contests suggest President Trump is in an extraordinarily strong position with GOP voters.

His campaign believes the turnout also indicates that the president's strength extends beyond Republicans to independents, as well.

Trump won the Texas primary with 94.1% of the vote.
  • In 2004, the last time an incumbent Republican president ran for reelection, George W. Bush, a former Texas governor, won the Texas primary with 92.5% of the vote.
  • This year, Trump won with 1,889,006 votes out of 2,007,314 Republican votes cast.
  • Democrat Joe Biden won Texas with 716,030 votes out of 2,075,862 Democratic votes cast.
Winning a higher percentage of the Texas primary vote than a former Texas governor indicates Trump's power in the party. And having such a large number of Republican votes in an essentially meaningless GOP primary, compared to Democratic votes in a hotly contested and enormously consequential primary, also suggests Republican muscle.

The story was similar in other states.
  • In Alabama, Trump won the Republican primary with 96.2% of the vote. In 2004, Bush won the Alabama primary with 92.8% of the vote. This year, Trump won with 695,469 votes out of 722,809 Republican votes cast. Biden won with 286,065 votes out of 452,278 Democratic votes cast.
  • In Oklahoma, Trump won the Republican primary with 92.6% of the vote. In 2004, Bush won with 90%. Trump won with 273,562 votes out of 295,409 Republican votes cast. Biden won with 117,552 out of 303,977 Democratic votes cast.
  • In Arkansas, Trump won with 97.1% of the Republican vote. In 2004, Bush won with 97%. Trump won with 237,863 out of 244,932 Republican votes cast. Biden won with 92,586 out of 228,476 Democratic votes cast.
In some states, there was greater Democratic turnout than Republican. In Tennessee, for example, Trump won the Republican primary with 96.5% of the vote. In 2004, Bush won with 95.4%. Trump won with 380,276 out of 393,969 Republican votes cast. Biden won with 215,005 out of 515,440 Democratic votes cast.

In other states, there are no 2004 numbers for comparison of Trump's performance; given Bush's dominance in the Republican Party, some states simply did not hold GOP contests that year. But Trump's performance Tuesday is still big.

Trump won the North Carolina Republican primary with 93.5% of the vote; the Colorado primary with 92.5% of the vote; and the California primary with 92.5% of the vote.

In a few states, Trump dipped below 90% of the Republican vote. For example, he won the Massachusetts primary with 87.7% of the vote. In that contest, former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, the only Republican challenging the president, took 9.3% of the vote. Trump won Utah with 88.2% of the vote, with Weld taking 6.5% and former challenger Joe Walsh taking 2.2%. And Trump won Vermont with 88.7% of the vote with Weld taking 10.4%.

There were no competitive Republican contests in Minnesota, Virginia, and Maine.

The bottom line is that, in a situation in which there was no significant contest, Republican voters turned out in great numbers to support the president.
 
"There is unprecedented support and enthusiasm for President Trump in the Republican Party, and supporters are turning out in state primaries because they just can't wait to get involved in the process that will end with his re-election," said campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh in an email exchange.

"The president has inspired record turnout and record vote totals, but it's not just Republicans who are fired up.

"Our data shows that a quarter of people who register for the president's rallies are independents or Democrats.

"The president has unified Republicans, but he's also attracting new voters to his side as well."

 
Finally, the Super Tuesday results represented a last nail in the coffin for Never Trump Republicans-turned-Democrats who hoped to use the GOP primaries to damage the president's prospects for reelection. Last September, anti-Trump activist and former Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol taunted Republicans who criticized GOP challengers for taking on the president.

"If you are confident, if you're Donald Trump, if these are just minor irritants, you know what — you beat them all, you crush them all in the primaries, and everyone says, 'Wow, look how strong Donald Trump is,'" Kristol told NPR. "If you're shutting down primaries, you're a little nervous about how the dynamic of these primary challenges could go."

One reaction to Tuesday's results might be, "Wow, look how strong Donald Trump is."

Kristol told NPR he thought it was "unlikely" that Trump could be defeated in the primaries. Still, NPR reported, the Never Trumpers' "secondary goal" is to "bruise Trump enough to hurt his chances come November 2020."
 
Now, Trump has indeed crushed his opponents in the primaries. And though he is certain to face formidable opposition in November, it will not come from within his party.

Byron York is the chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner, a Fox News contributor and the author of The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.
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