Since 1962, the percentage of eligible voters picking Democratic and Republican nominees for governor and U.S. Senate has been declining to less than 10% per party. The percentages are even lower for U.S. House and state legislature primaries, Gans says.
A ripple effect on national politics is possible. Michael McDonald, a political scientist at George Mason University, believes the partisan nature of most primaries for local office has had an impact. "There's a recruitment chain," McDonald says. "If you're punishing moderates in the farm leagues, they're never going to make it to the big leagues."
15 March 2010
Voters Abandon Party Primaries
USA Today: Voter turnouts for primaries 'a concern'