In this report, we draw on data from FairVote’s comprehensive Popular Vote Totals 2016 spreadsheet that tracked votes cast in primaries and caucuses during the 2016 nomination contest. We also draw on data from Dr. Michael McDonald and the United States Elections Project, which is the go-to source for estimates of eligible voters and for turnout information since 2000. We summarize trends and changes in presidential primary turnout in 2016, in particular:
National voter turnout in 2016 presidential primaries compared to presidential primary seasons since 2000.
Voter participation in each party’s primaries in 2016, compared to 2000 and 2008.
The states with the highest and lowest presidential primary turnout, in total and for each party.
The states in which turnout increased and decreased the most from 2008.
- An in-depth comparison of turnout in the 23 states in which primaries for both parties were competitive in both 2008 and 2016, exploring relative turnout in states with open and closed primaries, and states that have changed their voter access laws.