There have been two particularly remarkable patterns in the Republican primaries so far: Record number of voters turn up to vote, and Donald Trump wins or — once, in Iowa — comes in a close second. And that is no coincidence.
Trump is the candidate of passion in this race, and the passionate are showing up at caucuses and polls in droves. Record numbers of Republicans have cast votes in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and the long lines recorded Tuesday in Nevada suggest the same thing happened there. GOP contests in the first three states to vote drew more than 1.2 million voters, up 24 percent over 2012, the New York Post reports.
Voter turnout negates the advantages of Trump’s opponents and fits perfectly with his playbook. Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are better organized than Trump and have superior “ground games.” But you don’t need buses and perky twenty-somethings to drive voters to the polls if they’re going anyway. Trump is inspiring people, and they are turning out.