GOP Voters Few and Far Between in D.C. Primary

D.C. GOP starts to see Romney as their guy, while Dem voters turn out for President Obama.

By + More

With less than 7 percent of its voting population registered as Republican, it may not have been surprising to see such a limited ballot offered Tuesday during the District of Columbia's GOP primary.

The day served as more of a practice run for the army of D.C.'s registered Democrats, as President Barack Obama ran uncontested in the District's presidential primary.

Roughly 75 percent of voters in D.C. are registered Democrats, outnumbering the city's Republicans by a landslide. "I would say I've had fewer than five Republicans all day," election volunteer Greg Patton said. "It's been a little slow, which you expect from a primary, but still."

[See pictures of the 2012 GOP presidential candidates.]

Only three of the four GOP candidates made it onto the District's ballot. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum failed to gather the signatures needed or pay the $10,000 fee required to participate. That left former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Congressman Ron Paul and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the competition for the area's 19 delegates. Romney is expected to easily win.

Sporting Romney campaign trinkets, Teri Galvez, who is running for D.C. Republican National Chairwoman, stood outside of a polling center in Georgetown, talking with voters about the right choice for the GOP.

Galvez says while the race for the nomination has been a long one, a visit to Capitol Hill Tuesday morning was evidence enough that support is solidifying around the former governor.

"Romney's the best candidate for the job," she said. "The party will rally around him. The enthusiasm is there."

[Check out U.S. News Weekly: an insider's guide to politics and policy.]

Betsy Werronen, the city's current Republican National Committeewoman, outfitted her small dogs, Lilly and Clicquot, with Romney stickers in support of the man she says will become the party's nominee.

Werronen has believed for a long time that Romney was equipped to fix the nation's problems, even endorsing him in the 2008 election.

"He has the business experience and the government experience to fix the problems we have," Werronen says.

Despite knowing who will represent the Democratic side of the ballot on Election Day, Democrats in D.C. still vastly outnumbered Republicans in the primary.

Marjorie Henderson, 90, says she has never misses an opportunity to vote for a Democrat, even in a primary election.

"I think [Obama] is a capable, intelligent, thoughtful person," Henderson says, "And God help us if the Republicans win."

Derek Bone, 30, cast a ballot for the first time in the United States Tuesday, and said the GOP's position on social issues drove him out to vote.

"I know it's a primary, so it's not going to make a difference," Bone said. "But the GOP's ideas are fairly scary on healthcare, gay rights, and women's rights. They seem to want to get rid of everything I view as progress."

Other Democrats like Carolyn McClain, who stopped in to vote before work, said a sense of duty and the city's local election drove her to the polls.

"I always vote because I believe it's my civic responsibility and my right," McClain said. "I was motivated by the council-at-large seat, but I voted for the president, of course, because he's my man."

  • Check out the latest political cartoons.
  • Read: Obama Campaign Targets Romney.
  • Follow U.S. News Debate Club on Twitter.