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« Pundit Roundtable | WILLisms.com | Quotational Therapy: Part 54 -- Good People With Occasional Bad Ideas. »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 201 -- Increases In Presidential Voter Turnout.

Increases In Turnout-

The 2004 election was the fifth-largest increase in voter turnout since 1896 (.pdf):


Up 44.4%
Change of party from D to R.
Flood of new voters as franchise is extended to women for first time.

Up 26.5%
Status quo affirmed.
Strong religious overtones as Democrat Al Smith becomes first Roman Catholic to win major party nomination.

Up 26.1%
Change of party from D to R.
Ike’s victory ends 20 years of Democratic White House control.

Up 23.2%
Status quo affirmed.
Wilson narrowly reelected as nation debates entry into World War I.

Up 16.0%
Status quo affirmed.
Bush leadership in age of terrorists spurs high-stakes battle.

Up 15.2%
Change from D to R.
First McKinley-Bryan contest puts stamp on a new Republican era.

Up 14.8%
Status quo affirmed.
FDR landslide affirms New Deal and new Democratic majority.

Up 14.0%
Change from R to D.
Perot’s independent candidacy produces lively three-way race.

Up 11.0%
Change from R to D.
Kennedy-Nixon contest features first televised debates.

Up 10.1%
Status quo affirmed.
Taft ratified as Teddy Roosevelt’s choice as successor.

It is interesting that spikes in voter turnout do not necessarily mean the American people are ready to "throw the bums out." It is also interesting that spikes in voter turnout do not correlate strongly with close elections or landslides.

Finally, this chart verifies the seemingly empty rhetoric from 2004 about "this election being the most important in a generation." And if it was the most important election in quite some time, the results ought to matter more than we've seen over the past year.

Elections should matter. Elections with spikes in turnout should matter even more.

In red states in 2004, turnout was up 18.9%, and Bush gained a net of 2,845,510 votes (6,899,716 R to 4,054,206 D), relative to 2000.

In blue states in 2004, turnout was up 13.2%, and Bush still gained a net of 703,840 votes (4,685,738 R to 3,981,898 D), relative to 2000.

In other words, Bush didn't merely draw his increased support in 2004 from white evangelicals in already deep red states. He gained in liberal states, as well. Unfortunately, the mandate President Bush earned in 2004 has not been respected or even really acknowledged by many in the establishment media. Even more unfortunate is that some within the President's own administration, and even more within his own party in Congress, have not projected the kind of confidence that ought to come from an impressive mandate.

Pew Research Center (.pdf).


Previous Trivia Tidbit: America's Booming GDP.

Posted by Will Franklin · 30 October 2005 02:12 PM