Voter Turnout

Report
Participation
• Voting
• Campaign Activity
– Volunteer
– Contribute money (corporations are people)
• Contacting officials
• Group Activity
• Protest
Participation
• What trends in each mode?
• How does US compare?
• Which mode has greatest effect?
Participation
• Trends
– Voting is way down in most nations
• But in US, we elect lots…
– Campaign activity is flat
• 3% volunteer
– Donating flat in US (about 10%)
– Activity of the wealthiest
• But trying to persuade others is way
% who tried to influence how
others vote
Is this meaningful participation?
Participation
• Trends
– Contacting officials up (?)
• People say they will, but do they
• When? How? (email?)
– Group activity (30%)
• Dalton says it’s up,
• Putman it’s down
• Does Internet act as social group?
Participation
• Trends
– Protesting up?
• Most sign petitions, up most places
• Boycott up US, GB
• Demonstrate, way up in FR & Germany
– 17% in US
• Occupy down/flat
– 2-4% in US
• Strike down/flat
Participation
• Again, what has most consequences for
what government does?
• Which is easiest?
• What differences between how wealthy
and others participate?
Voter Turnout
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•
•
•
•
Who votes, who doesn’t?
Why?
Why a decline?
Is there a decline?
What proposals to increase turnout?
Voter Turnout in US
• Is there a turnout problem?
• In US
• about 50-55% vote in presidential elections
– up in 2004 & 2008 (+60%)
• about 30-35% vote in congressional elections
• Washington state above the national average
US Turnout Compared
• US turnout low
compared to other
est. democracies
• Other democracies
also show decline
US Turnout Compared
• 1950s vs. 1990s
/2000
• Few est.
democracies have
turnout increasing
Voter Turnout
• In the US
• a steady decline (maybe)
• turnout 10% lower 2000 than 1960
• turnout much lower now than 1900
– why ??
• today, a lower % of eligible voters participate
– far more eligible voters now
Turnout Trend 1948 - 2000
• High rates 1952 1968
• Decline post 1972
M. McDonald data
Turnout Trend through 2008
• Large change in
VAP vs. VEP turnout
• Since 1980
• Pool of eligible
voters smaller vs.
voting age
population
M. McDonald data
Voter Turnout
• 1896 90%  drop to 62% in 1904
– voter registration laws
– Jim Crow laws
• 1916 61%  drop to 42% in 1920
– suffrage to women
– size of eligible electorate doubled
• 1936 59%  drop to 51% in 1948
– WWII
• 1968 60%  drop to 52% 1972
– suffrage granted to 18 y/olds
Voter Turnout in US
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
1960 = 63% in pres (47% in 1962)
1964 = 62% in pres (48% in 1966)
1968 = 61% in pres (47% in 1970)
1984 = 54% in pres (36% in 1986)
1988 = 50% in pres (36% in 1990)
1996 = 49% in pres (36% in 1998)
2000 = 51% in pres (34% in 2002)
Voter Turnout in US
• Why a decline since 1890s?
• Old numbers from a different context
– high mobilization
• labor intensive parties
– limited pool of eligible voters
– fraud
– more mobilization then vs. now?
Voter Turnout in US
• Why a decline since 1960s?
• Demise of parties
– campaigns now capital intensive (ads)
– less direct contacts w/ voters
– candidate centered politics
– “party building” efforts (soft money) for
GOTV had little effect
Voter Turnout in US
• Why a decline?
• Demise of competition
– Fewer US House races competitive vs.
1960s
• even with demise of one-party south
– Fewer state legislative seats competitive
– Campaign activity concentrated in rare,
competitive districts (and states)
Voter Turnout in US
• Why a decline?
• Demise of Competition
• Effects of competition
– 10% more competitive presidential race in
state = 1% more turnout
• ie: Ohio (2%) vs (22%) = 2% more
– 2 initiatives = 1% more
– Senate race, Gov race...
Voter Turnout in US
• Why increase in 2004 & 2008
• Are the stakes higher?
– 2000 election result?
– some new issue?
– candidate effects?
Voter Turnout in US
• Why a decline?
• Regulatory barriers
– 30 day advance registration
– vote only on day of election
– must vote at specific location
– limits on use of mail, absentee ballots
– Prohibition on felons voting
Barriers to voting
• Lowest
– ND, OR, UT, IA, ME, VT, NH, CA
• Highest
– MS, AL, KY, VA, MD, FL, TX, LA
Voter Turnout in US
• Why a decline
• Regulator barriers
– What effects of Election Day Registration
(EDR)?
• Seven states
• 4.5% increase in presidential elections
• 2.0% increase in midterm
Voter Turnout in US
• Election Day Registration
– Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana,
New Hampshire, North Dakota, Wisconsin,
Wyoming (ND doesn’t require registration)
– In WA
• proposal to have shorter pre-reg. period but not
EDR
Voter Turnout in US
• Election Day Registration
– Why bother?
• makes voting more convenient
– Who will take advantage?
• ???
• ???
Voter Turnout in US
• Election Day Registration
– Proponents:
• Democratic Party
– Opponents:
• County Auditors
• Bureaucratic nightmare
– requires more staff
– vote provisional ballot?
– check if registered/voted in other county
Voter Turnout
• Felon disenfranchisement
– Two states do not ban from voting (Maine
and Vermont)
– Some states restore after release /
probation (ex Felons)
– Some states make ban permanent (unless
govt. approves individual’s restoration)
Voter Turnout
• Felon Laws
– Adoption corresponds with extension of
rights to Black Americans
– Before 1860, 12 of 21 states w/ laws
– By 1890s, 38 of 45 had laws
• type of crimes covered changed
Voter Turnout
• Effects of Felon laws
– There might not be a decline in turnout
– Levels of criminal punishment in US way,
way up
– More felons than ever (Why??)
• 1.4% of Voting age pop by 2000
• was .5% before 1982
– 8% of US Voting age population by 2000
• up from 2% in 1966
Voter Turnout in the US
• Why a decline
• Regulatory Barriers
– Not a factor growing over time
– Easier to register now, easier to vote by
mail
– EDR explains variation in an election, not
since 1960.
Voter Turnout in US
• Maybe no decline?
• Yes, lower after 1960s - 2000
– Decline mostly outside of south
• Low turnout rate of young (post 1972)
accounts for 1/4 of decline
• VAP vs. VEP....
Turnout 2004, 2008
• Change VEP
»
– White
– Black
– Hispanic
– Asian
– All
2008
2004
66.1%
65.2%
49.9%
47.0%
63.6%
63.8%
60.3%
47.2%
44.7%
63.8%
-1.1
+4.9
+2.7
+2.4
-0.2
Turnout by Age
• Not quite linear
• Young voters lowest
turnout
• Youth vote up in 2004
(red line) & 2008
charles franklin data
Turnout by Age
• Not quite linear
• Young voters lowest
turnout
• Youth vote up in 2004
(red line) & 2008
charles franklin data
Turnout by Age
• Youngest cohort
largest segment of
the electorate
• Greatest underrepresentation in
voting
Turnout by Age
• Under-representation?
• Youth vote by party
– 2000 51% Dem
– 2004 54% Dem
– 2008 66% Dem
Decline or not...
• Many, most don’t vote
• In many nations, clear decline
• Where are the voters going?
– Cohort vs. lifecycle effects
Voter Turnout
• So why don’t young people vote?
– efficacy
– life experiences re: politics
– campaigns don’t care about them?
• ‘Rock to Vote’, “Vote or Die”?
• youth vote way up in place where competitive
races (stakes are higher)
• youth vote 10% nationally in 2004
Vote or Die?
• Campaign spending,
ads, targeting youth
vote vs...
• Generic, contextfree “youth”
campaigns
Voter Turnout
• So, who votes?
• Education
• Age (old people rule)
– Cohort and life cycle effects
• Partisans (not independents)
• Income
• Efficacy
– OK, so what drives efficacy
Voter Turnout
• When & Why do they vote?
• Regular voters
– older people and well educated
• Peripheral voters
– younger people and less-educated
Voter turnout
• Competitive elections mobilize
• larger effect on young & less educated
• Presidential race 2004
– person living in uncompetitive state w/ 10th
grade ed. had .46 prob. of voting
– person in Ohio w/ 10th grade ed .55 prob.
Voter Turnout
• Midterm election (2002)
– 33 y/o person in state w/ no US Senate
race = .37 prob. of voting
– 33 y/o in state w/ most competitive Senate
race .77 prob. of voting
– for 62 y.o., high prob. of voting anyway
Voter Turnout in US
• What difference would it make if turnout
was higher?
– Composition of electorate change?
• EDR, Vote by Mail, etc. seem to increase
turnout but not change electorate
• Competitive elections seem to increase turnout
of everyone
– greater effect on young, less educated
Voter Turnout in US
• What happens if higher turnout
– and low participating groups show up?
• Young people
• Less affluent
• Ex-felons
Voter Turnout
• Uggen & Manza
– Because felons are drawn from ranks of
poor and racial minorities, laws take votes
from Dems.
– Estimate that 2000 Pres. election would
have been reversed
– Estimate that Dems would have controlled
US Senate after 1984 if not for these laws
• Thus changed composition of US Courts
Young voters nominated
Obama
• Young voters (under 30 in 2004)
– Born post 1975 = 60% D, 30% R
– Born 1943 - 58 = 44% D, 46% R
• 2008 Primaries
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Ds NH 18-24
Ds NH over 65
Ds FL 18-24
Ds FL over 65
Ds IA 17 - 29
Ds IA over 65
60% Obama, 22% HRC
32% Obama, 48% HRC
49% Obama, 39% HRC
24% Obama, 59% HRC
57% Obama, 11% HRC
18% Obama, 45% HRC
Voter Turnout
• Dem primaries: Obama won where
youth turnout reduced age gap
– 28% over 65 in FL, 5 % under 25
– 13% over 65 in NH, 11% under 25
– 25% over 65 in IA, 22% under 27
– 26% over 60 in MI, 8% under 25

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