For all the attention generated by Barack Obama’s candidacy, the share of eligible voters who actually cast ballots in November declined for the first time in a dozen years. The reason: Older whites with little interest in backing either Barack Obama or John McCain stayed home.
The decline in percentage turnout was the first in a presidential election since 1996. At that time, voter participation fell to 58.4 percent — the lowest in decades — as Democrat Bill Clinton won an easy re-election over Republican Bob Dole amid a strong economy.
Class, what did we learn?
1. Give us “the next guy in line” again and we’ll sit out again!
2. Give us someone who looks no different than a Democrat on many issues and we’ll sit out again
Minnesota and the District of Columbia had the highest turnout, each with 75 percent.
3. If you have a crappy GOP candidate, even if we don’t sit out we won’t vote for them.
Revisions/extensions (8:12 am 7/21/2009; steveegg) – Newsmax didn’t exactly fact-check the numbers, which caused the error struck through above. According to the Census Bureau, the 2000 turnout percentage was lower than 2008’s. It still is, however, the first drop in voter turnout percentage since 1996.
Related to that, I’m sifting through the Census Bureau’s turnout numbers going back to 1980.