Thursday, November 6, 2008

Turnout numbers please

On election night, I predicted that this year's voter turnout would break the 60% barrier. (That's the % of registeredlikely voters that cast a ballot (I think).) I'm gonna go all out now and say that it's going to be between 64% and 71%. There are a couple of reasons for this: (1) large increases in numbers of registered voters because of campaign-based get-out-the-vote efforts; (2) more options for how to vote, including by mail and early voting; (3) side issues on the ballots (gay marriage anyone?); and (4) the obvious one: enthusiasm about the candidates.

But I can't find the numbers! Does anyone know when these come out? Where can I get them? I'd rather someone else add them up state by state and just give me the final answer, but I'll do it myself if I have to.



dave said...

Turnout is actually the percentage of eligible voters (citizens aged 18 or older). According to the census bureau 63.8% of the ~200 million eligible voters voted in 2004. They say that's 88.5% of registered voters.

As for 2008, Nate Silver estimates nearly 130 million people have voted, up from 122 million four years ago. I'd guess the percentage change there is similar to that of the number of eligible voters, so the turnout numbers won't be terribly different from 2004.

saisai said...

my bad--i like your measure better anyway. i'm updating the post to reflect that.

we have conflicting data. see here, reporting a mere 55.3% in 2004.

Kimberly said...

hi my dear. i read your post and then was reading the news and came across this... hope it helps!

N said...

Good old wikipedia has some numbers as well. here's the link.,_2008#Election_results
however, looking at the political ticker piece above, i think their absolute numbers are probably right, but the percentages they quote are not. there are cites on the page that you can follow up on :)

saisai said...

thanks everyone for the links and whatnot. i'll be keeping my eye on this, so expect updates! and please, if you do see anything that has a solid number--or maybe a banner headline in the NYT screaming "turnout breaks 70%! miracle!"--pass that along as well. :)