Rep. Bill Farmer says low turnout could lead to primary surprises

05/10/2011 06:06 PM

If Republican primary voters don’t turn out at the polls in even moderate numbers, it could cause some surprises in the election results, said Lexington Republican State Representative Bill Farmer.

Farmer, a Lexington lawmaker since 2003, said he’s hearing turnout forecasts in the 10-12 percent range, but should that number be lower, it could make front-runners sweat.

“If it’s eight percent, anything could happen. That’s like going to Churchill Downs on a muddy day,” Farmer said. (see the 1:15 mark of the video)

Secretary of State Elaine Walker said her turnout projection based on the rate of absentee ballots being returned so far was 9 to 10 percent, as reported on Tuesday’s edition of Pure Politics.

Farmer said in a low turnout scenario, it will be up to the candidates to turn out their base group of supporters and to get them excited about going to the polls.

“If it’s less than 10 percent, it’s a wide open field,” Farmer said. (see the 2:10 mark of the video)

Certain conditions could lead to a blowout for Senate President David Williams’ campaign, but Farmer said if Phil Moffett gets a truckload of tea party support, he could make it close or land an upset win. And Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw is a viable contender if she turns out her supporters in the most populous county: Jefferson.

“If you have just a batch of disinterested people — that aren’t tea partiers, aren’t the hard-care right-to-lifers — Bobbie Holsclaw could come out and surprise them both,” Farmer said. (see the the 2:30 mark of the video)

Farmer has not endorsed a candidate in the race.

“From what I’ve seen and from what I’ve heard from the candidates, they’re doing a good job going around telling people what it is that they don’t like about the incumbent,” Farmer said. “I haven’t heard a whole lot of plans, a whole lot of details, a good agenda, as to, if I’m elected, what I’m going to do.” (see the 5:30 mark of the video)


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