2012 Turnout: Identifying the “Missing” Voters of 2012

Here are three things you probably have not heard much about as regards turnout on Tuesday:

Forty-two percent (42%) of the drop in turnout is coming from the nine percent (9%) of the vote that comes from the “Hurricane Sandy region” of CT, NJ, and NY.

Turnout was UP in the nine swing states.

And a number you probably have never heard before — 9,500,000 — is the answer as regards the “missing voter” of the 2012 election.

Let’s start talking about turnout by first looking at that 9,500,000  number.

That is the number of votes ADDED to the vote count in 2008 between the Thursday after the election and the results being certified!

As of the Thursday morning after this election, fewer than 120 million votes for president have been counted.

Commentators are comparing this to the 131 million votes cast for president in 2008 (132 million total votes cast) and going on and on about the stunning drop in turnout

Totally wrong.

Yes, turnout as a percent of Citizens of Voting Age population will be down this cycle, but, there’s still a chance the total vote cast will be as large or slightly larger than in 2008.

The relevant comparison number is NOT 131 million votes cast for president in total in 2008; it is instead the roughly 123 million votes counted as of Thursday morning after the election last cycle.

This quick 10 page slide deck walks through this math.

It also puts other numbers in perspective:

  1. In the nine swing states, the turnout is UP over the record turnout of 2008.
  2. The overall drop in turnout is coming from the other 41 states/DC.
  3. And for goodness sakes, if anyone bothered to look at the actual drop in the vote, about half (okay, 42%) of the entire drop in turnout is coming from the nine percent (9%) of the vote that is the “Hurricane Sandy” region of CT, NJ, NY.

I thought you would find this information of interest.