COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio’s second primary election for 2022 wrapped up Tuesday night.
Both Democratic and Republican strategists said the election went how they expected it would for the most part, but the unofficial turnout was just under 8% for this second primary, even lower than some thought it would be.
“I thought it may get to 10-12 percent,” Republican strategist Matt Dole said. “So, it may have been slightly lower than I anticipated.”
“Millions wasted, no one showing up, total confusion,” Democratic strategist David Pepper said.
Despite the low voter turnout, Pepper said Democratic leadership feels good about the candidates who made it through to the November election.
“There’s an opportunity to pick up seats this coming November in the Statehouse, which would be a big deal,” Pepper said.
Both Pepper and Dole said after Kansas voters showed up big to vote on abortion access in their state, they expect both voter bases to do the same in Ohio in November, even if it’s not an issue put on the ballot.
“It should scare the heck out of anyone running on the Republican side in Ohio,” Pepper said. “This state is majority supporting of Roe V. Wade, every poll shows that. So, if it happened in Kansas, it could happen here.”
“If Republicans see that and sense that, Republicans are equally enthused about that issue and so I think you’re also going to see Republican turnout grow there,” Dole said.
Looking ahead, Dole expects a 50% to 55% voter turnout in November, anticipating more Republicans coming out to the polls than Democrats.
“In the primary, people are voting for candidates,” he said. “In the general election, people might be voting against a candidate or have an enthusiasm.”
Pepper sees it differently.
“If, over the next 100 days, people stay energized, if you see a turnout increase because of it, I think you could see some starling results,” he said.
The general election in less than 100 days away will include statewide races like governor and U.S. Senator.