Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I'm so angry I ain't voting

New evidence of dropping voter turnout looks like bad news for Democrats, good news for Republicans.

I'm so angry I ain't voting

A brand new study of voter turnout across America shows a continuing decline in electoral participation that suggests even though everybody hates Congress and (at least in this state) their Legislature they plan to get even by not voting and thereby keeping incumbents in office.

Moreover, it also looks like bad news for Democrats, good news for Republicans.

The Center for the Study of the American Electorate at American University's School of Public Affairs says turnout in the 25 states that held statewide primaries so far this year is down nearly one-fifth from the last midterm elections in 2010. And the lowest Democratic turnout on record is what pulled it down.

While overall primary turnout four years ago was only 18.3 percent, it has dropped this year to 14.8 percent, the center says.

The center offers a chart showing a steady decline since the 1960's when primary elections turnout was double what it is today.

You can see the chart and read more about the findings in this piece from The Washington Post.

The partisan difference in voting patterns indicates the trend favors Republicans.

I've noted in past that this trend could be a factor in this year's Pennsylvania governor's race since candidates of the party not in the White House (in this case incumbent Republican Gov. Corbett) tend to do better in midterm election years.

The midterm voting study shows that Republican primary voting has been pretty steady over four decades and, for the first time ever, was greater than Democratic turnout in 2010.

The study also shows GOP turnout so far this year surpassing Democratic turnout.

It is, of course, unclear what this means for the November elections. But it can't be a good sign for Democrats. And it might mean folks are so upset with their government they're opting out of the process.

 

 

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected