Hmmm: Gallup says turnout this year likely to fall short of 2004 and 2008
posted at 8:43 pm on October 30, 2012 by Allahpundit
RCP elections analyst Sean Trende called this a “shocking poll” on Twitter. Is it?
Trende’s forgotten more about politics than I’ll ever know but this is what I would have expected. 2004 was uniquely intense because it followed 9/11 and shaped up as a referendum on the war and foreign policy. 2008 was unique because both parties had competitive primaries (very competitive in the Democrats’ case), Obama’s candidacy was historic, and Hopenchange fee-vah managed to mobilize some groups, like young voters, who don’t otherwise turn out in huge numbers. This year should be more intense than both of those since it’ll have momentous consequences for the size of the federal government long-term, but that’s not how most people view the race, I think. Until a month ago, a lot of undecideds presumably viewed it as a battle between Obama and that rich guy who gives his workers’ wives cancer and cheats on his taxes. Even now, despite Ryan being on the ticket, there’s less talk of big-picture fiscal reform than I would have expected. The stakes next Tuesday are huge, but it’s not hard to understand why they wouldn’t feel huge to a lot of people who don’t follow politics every day.
That said, lower turnout this year probably bodes well for Romney and the GOP. People who voted in 2008 but are staying home in 2012 are more likely to be Democrats (probably younger Democrats whose fee-vah has broken), I think, than Republicans. If you voted for McCain, why wouldn’t you vote for Mitt? I’d be shocked if his support among GOPers fails to exceed Maverick’s.