Voter turnout numbers point to GOP enthusiasm gap

By Nancy Benac

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Feb. 2 2012 1:16 p.m. MST

WASHINGTON — Voter turnout numbers are pointing to a potential enthusiasm deficit for Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney.

Statistics in the four states that have voted so far show turnout has been strongest where people were energized to vote for somebody else.

Romney had a big victory in Florida this week. But turnout there was down significantly from four years ago.

In South Carolina, where Gingrich trounced Romney, turnout was up considerably.

Turnout was up slightly in the first two states to vote: New Hampshire and Iowa. But Democrats are quick to note that independent voters contributed to the boost. And they say President Barack Obama will be competing for those independents in the fall.

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