Puerto Rico turnout expected to be low

Fewer residents of the commonwealth voted than some observers had predicted, and that's bad news for Hillary Clinton.

Published June 1, 2008 8:49PM (EDT)

There are a couple bits of good news for Hillary Clinton coming out of Puerto Rico's Democratic primary. First of all, she won. Second, it appears that she won by a large margin. If the exit polls conducted by CNN end up reflecting actual results, she'll have about 68 percent of the vote to about 32 percent for Barack Obama. But that may end up meaning little in the face of one important piece of bad news.

As I mentioned earlier, the real benefit a win in Puerto Rico could have had for Clinton is that it could conceivably have helped her get an undisputed lead over Obama in the national popular vote. But in order for that to happen, Clinton had to win by a very large margin and millions of Puerto Ricans had to come out to the polls (two million, by one estimate). It appears that the latter didn't happen. NBC's First Read blog reports that election officials are currently expecting a turnout of 400,000. Here at Salon, we're hearing very similar numbers from other sources.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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