Friday, November 7, 2008

Many Republicans stay home on Election day


Their story is that Obama registered huge masses of new supporters and got them to the polls. At first, that was what I thought, but that is not the key factor. I was expecting the highest percentage turnout in 100 years amounting to 130,000,000 voters, but instead as of 5:00 PM EDT, 121,146,964 people voted for Obama or McCain. In 2004, 121,069,054 people voted for Bush or Kerry. Hence in a hotly contested election in which a fortune was spent on the race, there was no big surge in voter turnout. The population is bigger and the number of registered voters is larger than in 2004, yet just about the same number of people voted. What are we to make of this? We know that a higher than normal percentage of minorities and under 30 youths turned out pushing up the Democratic votes. We know that about 15% of Democrats who voted for Hillary Clinton voted for McCain-Palin (the PUMA voters). So how are we to explain the results? The conclusion is inescapable. The Republicans stayed home in droves. Obama did not win the election, the Republicans gave it to him by not getting out and voting.

"A downturn in the number and percentage of Republican voters going to the polls seemed to be the primary explanation for the lower than predicted turnout. The percentage of eligible citizens voting Republican declined to 28.7 percent down 1.3 percentage points from 2004. Democratic turnout increased by 2.6 percentage points from 28.7 percent of eligibles to 31.3 percent. It was the seventh straight increase in the Democratic share of the eligible vote since the party’s share dropped to 22.7 percent of eligibles in 1980."

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