The pitifully low primary turnout raises the question of how many and who will vote in November.

At last count, 175,000 votes had been cast in the GOP primary for governor and 153,000 in the Democratic primary. That’s not nearly the Republican gap expected given the number and intensity of Republican races versus virtually nothing on the Democratic side.


This sidelight: Democrat Mike Ross had about 400 more votes last night than Republican Asa Hutchinson.

If only the truly committed vote in November, doesn’t that mean Ross wins the governor’s race?


Well, no.

More will vote in November, maybe double last night’s number. They wouldn’t appear to be committed partisans, or care much about judges, given the turnout. Polling shows, however that self-identified independents in Arkansas trend conservative. Mike Ross will not be running to the left in the general election.


Lots of reasons for lack of voter interest. One is the result of years of campaigning from one side of the spectrum that government is bad and all who serve there are not to be trusted. If that’s so, why bother?

UPDATE: The addition of a few more precincts pushed Asa Hutchinson into the vote lead over Mike Ross by late afternoon, about 1,000 more — 130,061 to 129,015 with 16 precincts still out. The point is still pretty much the same. A hotly contested Republican primary didn’t inspire nearly the vote gap expected.