Rhode Island Primary Facts and Figures

Compiled by the U.S.News & World Report library staff.

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Compiled by the U.S.News & World Report library staff

Presidential Primary Winners

Democrats

  • 1988 Michael Dukakis
  • 1992 Paul Tsongas
  • 1996 Bill Clinton
  • 2000 Al Gore
  • 2004 John Kerry

Republicans

  • 1988 George H. W. Bush
  • 1992 George H. W. Bush
  • 1996 Bob Dole
  • 2000 John McCain
  • 2004 George W. Bush

Sources:
Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections
Rhode Island Board of Elections: Previous Election Results

2008 Voter Registration Data

665,091 registered voters as of February 7

Registration by Party:

  • Democrat: 236,404 (35.5%)
  • Republican: 75,726 (11.4%)
  • Unaffiliated: 352,961 (53.1%)

Source:
Rhode Island Board of Elections: Registered Voters by Party

General Election Winners — 1988-2004

  • 1988 Michael Dukakis
  • 1992 Bill Clinton
  • 1996 Bill Clinton
  • 2000 Al Gore
  • 2004 John Kerry

Sources:
Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections
Rhode Island Board of Elections: Previous Election Results

Exit Poll Demographics

2004 Election

Sex

  • Male:  47%
  • Female:  53%

Race

  • White:  88%
  • African-American:  4%
  • Latino:  5%
  • Asian:  1%
  • Other:  2%

Age

  • 18-29:  17%
  • 30-44:  29%
  • 45-59:  31%
  • 60 and older:  24%

Source: CNN.com

3 Things You Didn't Know About Rhode Island Primaries

1. Historically, voters in Rhode Island do not turn out in great numbers for presidential primaries. In fact, Rhode Island frequently has the nation's lowest voter turnout rate for primaries, once dipping as low as 4 percent voter participation.

2. Currently, over 50 percent of voters in Rhode Island are registered as "unaffiliated." They may vote in the party presidential primary of their choosing. However, once they choose, they are considered a member of that party. Residents can "disaffiliate" by filling out a form at their polling location after they vote.

3. To determine the order in which candidates will appear on this year's presidential primary ballots, Rhode Island Secretary of State Ralph Mollis used a machine borrowed from the Rhode Island Lottery. Much like the daily lottery numbers are chosen, each candidate was assigned a ball, and the order in which these floated to the top decided their place on the ballot. This year's Democratic ballot will read (in this order): Uncommitted, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Barack Obama. The Republican ballot will be ordered: John McCain, Ron Paul, Hugh Cort, Mitt Romney, Uncommitted, Alan Keyes, Mike Huckabee.

Sources:
The Associated Press State & Local Wire
Committee for the Study of the American Electorate
Providence Journal-Bulletin
Rhode Island Board of Elections: Frequently Asked Questions
Rhode Island Office of the Secretary of State: "Uncommitted" and McCain Will Top R.I.'s Presidential Primary Ballot