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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Final Turnout Numbers

As the New York Times reports today, the states have virtually all certified their November 4 presidential voting totals, and we can begin to make some judgments about turnout.
Overall, 131 million votes were cast, up from 122 million in 2004. As a percentage of eligible voters, turnout was 61.6%, not that much above 2004’s 60.1%, but still the highest turnout percentage since 1968.
It appears that the lack of doubt about the winner of the election, and lack of Republican enthusiasm for John McCain, combined to lower turnout a bit. The turnout-increase champ was NC, where the percentage of eligible voters particupating jumped from 57.8% to 65.8%. Aside from winning the state in the presidential election for the first time since 1976, Democrats also won close senatorial and gubernatorial races in the state, and picked up a House seat.
Early voting rose sharply around the country, with 31% of the electorate casting early or absentee ballots (up from 22% in 2004). Election Day truly ain’t what it used to be.

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