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Election 2016: Sunshine should boost South Carolina Democratic primary voter turnout

Based on past weather and voting trends, turnout for Saturday's South Carolina Democratic presidential primary should be higher than it was eight years ago.

According to the South Carolina State Election Commission, 23 percent of the state's then-2.2 million registered Democratic voters cast ballots in the 2008 presidential primary. It was the state's last contested Democratic presidential primary.

Temperatures will be about 7 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit below normal on Saturday in South Carolina, but AccuWeather research has found that is not necessarily a voter deterrent.

"South Carolina voters are most deterred by lower pressure and higher winds typically associated with storminess," Business Intelligence Analyst Tim Loftus of AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions said.

Democrats will likely turnout more than they did in 2008 as well as the uncontested primary with President Barack Obama in 2012, due to the ample sunshine in the forecast, he said.

"Folks heading to the polls early Saturday should bundle up as temperatures will start out in the 20s across Upstate South Carolina to middle 30s along the coast," AccuWeather Meteorologist Mike Doll said.

"It will be sunny statewide with temperatures climbing into the 50s during the afternoon," he said.

On Saturday, Feb. 20, Republicans set an all-time record turnout in South Carolina with more than 730,000 voters casting ballots as warm weather was accompanied by sunny skies.

On the contrary, low temperatures, especially those below zero, have a major impact on voter turnout for both women and younger voters, aging from 18-34, Loftus said.

Loftus used L2 as part of his research, which included analyzing weather trends and voter data to election seasons starting in 1996.

Saturday's primary will be the last primary before Super Tuesday, when 13 states hold primaries or caucuses for both the Democratic and Republican parties. Super Tuesday will take place on Tuesday, March 1, 2016.