Michael McDonald of George Mason University provides the final turnout numbers and presidential results:
Bush 62,008,619 (50.74%)
Kerry 59,012,107 (48.29%)
Total (all candidates) 122,212,577
(Turnout Rate among eligible: 59.9%)
Margin of Victory: 2,996,512 (2.45%)
So Bush’s final percentage point margin is closer to two points than three and his final vote margin is under 3 million. Hardly awe-inspiring–in fact, unprecedentedly weak as incumbent re-election victories go. And we’re supposed to believe this is a mandate?
Note: McDonald’s turnout rate is based on his estimate of the voting-eligible population and is somewhat different from the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate’s voting-age citizen based turnout rate and quite different from the traditional voting-age population (VAP) based turnout rate.