On Turnout

Add pollster Joe Fleming to the list of political observers expecting low voter turnout for the September 14 primary. His data point: last week's North Providence special election, which drew just 13 percent of eligible voters.

The race was, of course, far from analogous to the upcoming primary. It was a special election, held in one town. But if voter anger is supposed to be the driving force this fall, there was plenty of that in North Providence: the election came after three councilmen resigned in the face of corruption charges.

The more compelling indicator, though, may be the expectation of the primary candidates themselves, who seem to be expecting low turnout almost uniformly. The ground game, as I suggested in a piece in the Phoenix this week on the Providence mayoral race, could be of paramount importance in the next couple of weeks. 


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