Although those who did not make it to the polls in May can vote in today’s party runoff elections, participation is almost certain to fall. In the runoffs held in the most recent presidential year, turnout fell in all 15 runoffs for congressional and state legislative contests. The average decline from the number of votes cast in the primary was almost 54 percent.
Another expectation concerning the runoffs involves the likely outcomes. The candidate who polled a plurality in the primary won two-thirds of the 120 non-local runoffs held since 2004. That level of success is very much in line with previous research. Primary leaders winning about two-thirds of the runoffs has been observed in other states and in elections going back into the 1920s.
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