From NYT number cruncher Nate Cohn, statistics on Kim Davis’ voting kin:
… These conservative Democrats are a legacy of the old Democratic strength among white voters in the South, where many white conservatives nonetheless remain registered as Democrats. In several states, these voters can be something of a consolation prize to Mr. Sanders, who has often complained that closed primaries prevent many of his younger and independent supporters from voting.
It bodes well for Mr. Sanders’s chances in coal country this month, starting in West Virginia on Tuesday. West Virginia, like Oklahoma, has far more registered Democrats than Obama voters.
Even today, 49 percent of voters are registered Democrats in West Virginia, but Mr. Obama won just 35.5 percent of the vote against Mitt Romney in 2012. Mr. Obama won just 59 percent in the 2012 primary in a one-on-one contest against Keith Judd, who was in prison at the time and who will be on the West Virginia ballot again on Tuesday…
In the open primaries, as in Texas or Alabama, these conservatives tend to vote in the Republican primary — just as they vote for Republicans in presidential elections. But in closed or semi-closed contests like Florida, Louisiana and Oklahoma, such voters must cast ballots in a Democratic primary if they want to vote in a primary at all. The result: Mrs. Clinton’s support surges once you cross the state line from Oklahoma to Texas, but the turnout plummets.
The same effect can be seen across the South. Mr. Sanders fared far better in the Florida Panhandle, where a majority of voters are often registered Democrats but Republicans prevail, than he did on the other side of the state line in Alabama or Georgia, with their open primaries…
It’s unclear whether these voters sincerely support Mr. Sanders. Demographically similar voters on the other side of the state border aren’t showing up for him, so they’re not exactly “feeling the Bern.”
Exit polls in Oklahoma, which allowed independents to vote in the Democratic primary for the first time, showed Mr. Sanders winning among people who wanted more conservative policies than Mr. Obama, or who trusted neither Mr. Sanders nor Mrs. Clinton in a crisis. These are probably not voters who are getting fired up for the Democratic revolution.
It’s possible that some of the Democratic voters showed up to vote for a Republican, but found themselves turned away.
Perhaps they showed up to vote in a local or statewide primary. Maybe some decided on mischief and were meddling with the Democrats.
Or, they might have simply wanted to register displeasure with a Democratic Party that has largely left them behind…
As everybody keeps reminding each other, voting is a habit; people show up to vote because they have local candidates or initiatives to support or block, and those that are interested enough to do so once tend to keep right on doing so. But too many of those ‘committed’ voters, while they take their school board seats and tax override proposals seriously, treat Presidential primaries (and elections) like reality shows — they vote to show that they ‘feel disrepected’, or in a more optimistic mood to jump on the newest bandwagon. Doesn’t mean we can dismiss their votes, but we do need to distinguish between people who can be persuaded by facts and those who only pick a candidate because American Idol has gone off the air and the Eurovision Song Contest isn’t among their cable choices.