U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, is predicting low voter turnout for March’s Republican presidential caucus next year.
Yarmuth expects turnout will be “pretty pathetic” because voters in the state have no history with caucuses.
“I think it is going to be very low turnout because I don’t think most people understand it. You really only have a few months to educate all the Republicans in the state as to what they need to do to have a say,” he said Monday.
The caucus was created to allow Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, to run for both the White House and the Senate next year.
Paul has vowed to pay for the full cost of the caucus, and so far, his campaign has put up $250,000. Yarmuth said considering Paul’s current struggles in the polls, that might have been a bad idea.
“I would bet that Sen. Paul now regrets having done it because now he has stay in the race until March or he is going to look pretty silly,” Yarmuth said. “I am not saying he should drop out, but he doesn’t really have the option of dropping out now.”
Whether Paul’s numbers improve or not, Kentucky Republicans have said the presidential caucus will give the state more of a say in the election because it’s earlier in the year. Voters in Kentucky usually cast their primary ballots in May.
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is currently the only candidate officially signed up for the Kentucky Caucus.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, has said he plans to be part of the caucus but hasn’t filed yet. And Paul told reporters this weekend he will officially file for the caucus sometime before the filing deadline, but he wasn’t sure exactly when.