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The Big 2016 Story Out of the Nevada GOP Caucus? Turnout.

Nevada's 2016 GOP turnout absolutely demolished the participation record from 2012,
Image: Voters line up to vote at a local high school
Voters line up to vote at a local high school.Ethan Miller / Getty Images

While Donald Trump won a sweeping victory in Nevada on Tuesday night – his third victory in a row – the biggest story out of the Silver State may actually be the record-breaking turnout Republicans saw at the evening’s caucus gatherings.

The Nevada Republican Party reported Wednesday morning that more than 75,000 voters participated in the contest. While that might not seem like a stunning number in a state with a population of somewhere around three million, that turnout absolutely demolished the participation record from 2012, when only about 33,000 Republican voters showed up to caucus.

In fact, Donald Trump alone captured 34,531 votes in his near-landslide victory in the state, surpassing the total votes cast in the same contest four years ago.

It’s a pattern that has played out in each of the previous Republican 2016 contests to date.

In South Carolina, more than 730,000 voters turned out during Saturday’s GOP primary contest, up from about 603,000 in 2012. In New Hampshire, Republicans shattered the 2012 tally of about 248,000 with a turnout of more than 284,000 this year. And in Iowa, Republicans counted more than 180,000 participants, up from about 121,000 in 2012.

On the Democratic side, the story has not been as rosy. After notching record turnouts in the 2008 Democratic primaries during the epic battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the party’s participation this cycle has fallen short of those numbers in every nominating contest to date.

Here are those Democratic turnout numbers:

  • Iowa 2008: 239,972
  • Iowa 2016: 171,109
  • New Hampshire 2008: 288,672
  • New Hampshire 2016: 250,983
  • Nevada 2008: 120,000
  • Nevada 2016: 80,000