South Shore Republican and DD4RP were puzzled as to the high Primary voting in Barnstable County. I suggested older voters and town meeting (which I still think are contributing factors), but the real answer was staring me in the face: Something to Vote for!
Barnstable County has an unusual number of contested GOP primaries. This is from recollection, so even more races may have been omitted.
In 2002, there was a county-wide GOP primary for Register of Probate (which was the election, since no Democrat ran).
In 2004, there was a 3-way Rep. Primary.
In 2006, there was a county-wide County Commissioner primary, a State Senate primary, and ANOTHER 3 way Rep. Primary.
In 2008, there was ANOTHER county-wide Register of Probate primary and a contested State Committee race in the March Presidential primary.
Oh, and there were those Presidents, Governors, Lt. Governors, Senators, etc.
Still – the LOCAL races are what drive voters and supporters to the polls. So having at least one contested race in each election cycle has developed a primary habit for voters.
Primaries – they grow the vote. Something for the rocket scientists who try to stifle primary competitions as ‘divisive’ to think about.