The Two-Way
7:35 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Primary Protests: 4 In 10 Say No To Obama; 3 In 10 Say No To Romney

Though there's no doubt about the nominees, presidential primaries are still being held.

And in both Democratic and Republican contests, some voters continue to register their unhappiness with the choices before them.

Tuesday, President Obama picked up about 6 in 10 of the votes in both the Arkansas and Kentucky Democratic primaries — meaning that about 4 in 10 of the voters chose to express their discontent with an incumbent who faces no serious challenge for his party's nomination. In Arkansas the other votes went to little-known Tennessee attorney John Wolfe. In Kentucky, they went to "uncommitted."

The results were similar to the West Virginia Democratic primary earlier this month, when a prison inmate grabbed about 4 in 10 votes.

On the Republican side Tuesday, the now basically unopposed Mitt Romney continued his march to the party's nomination. He received about 7 in 10 of the votes in both Arkansas and Kentucky. But that means, obviously, that in each state about 3 in 10 primary voters chose to cast their ballots for someone else.

As Politico says, "Obama continued to have trouble ... in Democratic primaries in traditionally conservative states." And as for Romney, "even the presumptive GOP nominee, who has had trouble exciting the conservative wing of his base, didn't turn in a stellar performance."

With neither nomination in doubt, of course, there wasn't as much incentive for supporters of Obama and Romney to get out and vote for their guys. There did, though, seem to be an incentive for some of the candidates' critics to get out and vote against them.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.