Sunday, November 02, 2008

Voter Turnout in Presidential Elections

I have been perusing my copy of the 2008 World Almanac and Book of Facts. As a child, I used to get this book for Christmas every year. As a reference librarian, it remains my favorite ready reference source. And yeah, I still read it for fun!

I came upon the Voter Turnout in Presidential Elections, 1932-2004. It is on page 542. As the media is predicting a high turnout for the 2008 presidential election, I think it is worthwhile to share turnout numbers from previous elections.

Mind you, the predictions of a high turnout are based on polling and the large number of new voter registrations. There is an old quote saying, "What do you call a candidate who is relying on new voters?" Answer? "The loser." This may or may not be true this election but it may impact the final turnout rate.

From the World Almanac:

1932, Hoover-Roosevelt, 52.4

1936, Roosevelt-Landon, 56.0

1940, Roosevelt-Wilkie, 58.9

1944, Roosevelt-Dewey, 56.0

1948, Truman-Dewey, 51.1

1952, Eisenhower-Stevenson, 61.6

1956, Eisenhower-Stevenson, 59.3

1960, Kennedy-Nixon, 62.8

1964, Johnson-Goldwater, 61.9

1968, Nixon-Humphrey, 60.9

1972, Nixon-McGovern, 55.2

1976, Carter-Ford, 53.5

1980, Carter-Reagan, 54.0

1984, Reagan-Mondale, 53.1

1988, Bush-Dukakis, 50.2

1992, Bush-Clinton-Perot, 55.9

1996, Clinton-Dole-Perot, 49.0

2000, Bush-Gore, 51.3

2004, Bush-Kerry, 60.7

Do you want to see the turnout rate higher in 2008? Are you an American 18 or over who is registered to vote? If so, you can help create a high turnout rate in 2008. Just go and vote. Your vote will not determine the election but it is important nonetheless. Be sure to show up at the polls.

1 comment:

Jennie W said...

Actually looking at that list, voter turn out in 2004 wasn't that bad, but still it would be higher. Let's see a big number for 2008! I'll be out there voting - come join me!