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PolitiFact: Bernie's Claims of Winning in High Turnouts 'Mostly False'

Image: PolitiFact: Bernie's Claims of Winning in High Turnouts 'Mostly False'
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By    |   Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 05:06 PM

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' claim that he wins Democratic presidential primaries where the turnout is high and loses when it is low is "mostly false," according to an analysis by PolitiFact.

"We win when voter turnout is high, we lose when it is low," Sanders recently told his New York supporters in an effort to get them to the polls, but while Sanders has had a few wins in high-turnout primaries, most of his wins have come from caucuses, where turnout is traditionally much lower anyway.

"And while Sanders did win the handful of states where Democratic turnout increased over 2008, these increases were tiny, casting doubt on how significant an accomplishment this is," PolitiFact noted.

There is "some element of truth," in Sanders' statement, the website said, but added that he "ignores critical facts that would give a different impression."

According to PolitiFact's calculations, Sanders won the top three turnout states of Oklahoma, New Hampshire and Vermont. Vermont, however, is his home state.

But he also won the 10 lowest turnout states.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won the fourth- and fifth-highest turnout states: Illinois, where she was born, and Massachusetts.

"The average turnout rate for a state won by Clinton was 44 percent, while the average state won by Sanders had a turnout rate of 31 percent," according to PolitiFact.

PolitiFact also looked out the percentage change in Democratic voter turnout from 2008.

Again, Sanders won in the top eight states, but there are caveats on that list, too. In the case of Michigan where turnout almost doubled, then Sen. Barack Obama didn't even make the ballot in 2008 because of an intra-party dispute. And in Minnesota, the 2016 caucus participation was an estimate.

Otherwise, Sanders won mostly in less-attended caucuses, so a percentage rise in participation is far less significant than in primaries.

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Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' claim that he wins Democratic presidential primaries where the turnout is high and loses when it is low is "mostly false," according to an analysis by PolitiFact.
bernie sanders, democrat, president, campaign, politifact
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2016-06-19
Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 05:06 PM
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