Voting Participation Rates: A Steady Decline… Or Not?
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, March 26, 2017
As of today – Sunday, March 26, 2017 – we are less than 100 days into President Donald Trump’s term in office, and his approval ratings – so far, a low of 37% – are practically subterranean. According to Gallup, his highest approval rating thus far has been 46%, which was a three-day average shortly after he was inaugurated, from January 23-25, 2017. An average of all presidents from 1938-2017 at this point in their presidency (first year, first term) is 53%. Two-term Republican Dwight David Eisenhower (previously former Supreme Allied Commander during WWII) was the highest with a 74% approval rating in March 1953. Oft-maligned Democrat President Jimmy Carter had a 72% approval rating March 1977, and JFK had 73% in March 1961. A reminder that JFK was later assassinated November 22, 1963. More recently however, Barack Obama had a 62% approval rating March 2009.
A reminder also that the 2018 Election (aka “Midterm”) is arriving quickly, and for many, it will be one of THE MOST SIGNIFICANT elections in a lifetime, because ALL 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 34 of the 100 Senate seats will be contested. As well, there will be 39 states’ and territorial governorships, numerous top-level states offices, and several other state and local election contests. In addition, the 2020 Decennial United States Census will occur, and Congressional Districts redrawn in response. In short, it will be an opportunity for a CLEAN SWEEP, and NEW BEGINNING… IF that’s what the people want.
Can they do it?
Do they have the desire?
Will voters’ wills be thwarted by Big Money interests and the nefarious landmark SCOTUS rulings in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and the equally preposterously inequitable McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission?
Money can’t buy love, but it can buy votes!
Will the people wrest their government from International Corporate control?
Will Russia once again meddle in our internal affairs to deceive voters through the myriad proliferation of so-called “fake news,” email hacks, and WikiLeaks?
All these, and many more questions WILL be answered Tuesday, November 6, 2018.
And it ALL relies upon Voter Participation.
Here are some facts, and ideas how to INCREASE Voter Participation.
In the 2016 General Election, the Voting-Eligible Population was 230,585,915.
The Voting-Age Population was 250,055,734.
That means 19,469,819 were ineligible to vote, for whatever reason.
Of the Voting-Eligible Population, only 60.2% voted.
That means 39.8% of the Voting-Eligible Population, or 138,812,721 Eligible Voters DID NOT VOTE.
Of the Voting-Age Population, predictors of turnout include older age, higher education and higher income.
For example, in 2014, the Turnout Rate for Voters age 18-29 was 16.3%. For Voters aged 30-44, the Turnout Rate was 30.1%. Turnout Rate for Voters aged 45-59 was 42.6%, and for Voters aged 60+, it was 54.9%.
States with the HIGHEST Voting-Eligible Population Turnout rates were:
New Hampshire (72.5%),
Wisconsin (70.5%), and
ALL those states had Same Day Registration, which allows voters to register or fix a registration problem when they vote.
The LOWEST Voting-Eligible Population Turnout rates were:
West Virginia (50.8%),
Tennessee (52%), and
ALL those states cut off the ability to register or update a registration 3-4 weeks BEFORE Election Day, had at least a 10% LOWER Voting-Eligible Population Turnout Rate, and scraped the bottom of the barrel for the THIRD consecutive Presidential Election.
As a result, Nation Voter Turnout was REDUCED by a FULL 1.5% in THREE of the MOST POPULOUS states, California, New York, and Texas.
The lack of competition in non-battleground states complicates and exacerbates lack of competition in Congressional races and Presidential races. As a result, 33 Congressional seats ended up being LESS competitive by at least 10%, and 73% of House races were won by over 20%age points, which are landslide margins of victory.