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Gross number? Yes. Highest Percentage? No.
Posted by: McQ on Sunday, November 09, 2008

Seems MichaelW was right to be suspicious of all the claims about record election turnout being not quite supportable:
Between 60.7 percent and 61.7 percent of the 208.3 million eligible voters cast ballots this year, compared with 60.6 percent of those eligible in 2004, according to a voting analysis by American University political scientist Curtis Gans, an authority on voter turnout.

He estimated that between 126.5 million and 128.5 million eligible voters cast ballots this year, versus 122.3 million four years ago. Gans said the gross number of ballots cast in 2008 was the highest ever, even though the percentage was not substantially different from 2004, because there were about 6.5 million more people registered to vote this time around.
The revised analysis?
The Democratic increase struck some analysts as modest, considering the party’s immense get-out-the-vote operation, strong anti-Bush sentiment and Obama's popularity.

“It sort of calls into question some of the vaunted ground game discussion, the whole turnout machine,” said a Democratic strategist who did not want to be quoted by name criticizing Obama’s campaign. “The GOTV effort was redoubled in 2008 compared to 2004, but it did not seem to make that big of a difference.”
 
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Another tidbit from the article:
Gans found that state efforts to make voting more convenient — for instance, through programs for early or mail-in voting — did not significantly boost turnout. Of the 14 states with the largest turnout increases, only six had so-called convenience voting initiatives, while in the 13 states with the greatest decline in voting, 12 had some form of convenience voting.
Also, black participation did increase two points percentage-wise, to 13% of the total, presumably from 11% in ’04.

What I’m curious about though is whether, as O requested, more voters — or surely in some cases "voters" — took election day off.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
Conservatives, I suppose you mean, Linda.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Well, by "voters" in quotes like that I meant slackers who just wanted the day off... but I had meant to point out also the obvious, which is that an increased percentage of black voters among total voters is consistent with reduced numbers of conservative/Republican voters, who are more often white.

I guess to whatever extent Palin energized the socially conservative base, she also alienated the not-so-socially-conservative part of the GOP. Or just failed to make up for McCain being at the top of the ticket.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
I’m of the view, as I think you know, that McCain was the problem.

I figure it this way; Despite the supposedly huge numbers of new voters, the numbers of people overall at the polls aren’t all that different than they were in 04. Bruce’s post would seem to confirm this. The only way to explain both those situations at once, is a seriously lower number of right-of center voters.

Add to that the datapoint that Palin drew far larger crowds than did McCain, just about everywhere she went. That of itself is a highly unusual situation, and I see that as further indication of conservative dissatisfaction with McCain.

I said back last February, that McCain wasn’t likely to get elected specifically because of the relationship problems with the base.

McCain’s choice of Palin was an attempt to overcome that. Was it not for the economic issues, it might have worked, since we’re only talking a few points. Thing is, there was only so much she ... or anyone... could undo.

All this adds up to McCain losing not because he was a conservative, but because he was not.
 
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