So This Is a Big Turnout?

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The AP reports:

More than eight in 10 registered voters in the Pew poll, 84 percent, describe this election as especially important, compared with 67 percent in 2000 and 61 percent in 1996.

Pew pollster Andrew Kohut said the poll suggests turnout could be as high or slightly higher than in 1992, when it was more than 55 percent of those eligible to vote based on his analysis of voter enthusiasm.

Whole story here.

What I'm left amazed by is the relative puniness of the expected turnout. Fifty-five percent of voting-age folks going to the polls? Big deal. For god's sake, 51 percent went to the polls in 2000, supposedly a similarly important electoral watershed. In 1960, by contrast, participation stood at around 65 percent.

Not that there's anything wrong with "vanishing voters." Indeed, four years ago, I came to their defense; more recently, Reason's Brian Doherty did likewise.

I just remain surprised that given all the hulabaloo surrounding this most-important-election-of-our-lifetime-since-the-last-one that experts are still talking about a modest increase in voter participation. Could it simply be that politics still ain't the center of life in these United States? As we gird our loins for a replay of the legal wrangling that followed the last presidential election, that may well be the most comforting thought I can muster.

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  1. The two parties have thousands of legal rats ready to swarm the “battleground” states (there’s already been plenty of warning salvos). Buckle down, friends. This is going to be one shitstorm.

  2. hey Nick!

    with the increasing meddling of government in our daily lives, pretty soon each special interest group of one will have some reason to vote. turnout =~ how much government meddles… or at least it sounds good… 🙂

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