Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Poll Predicts Lower State Turnout Than 2008 Despite Influx Of New Voters

Despite a near historic flood of late newly registered voters in California, a new Field Poll predicts turnout will be just a tick under 70 percent.

The poll, released today, suggests overall enthusiasm for this year’s presidential election is not necessarily diminished, but nowhere near the once-in-a-lifetime exuberance seen in 2008 when electing Barack Obama as the nation’s first black president. Four years ago, 79.4 percent of Californians cast a ballot.

The 10-point drop in participation might surprise many following nearly a million new voters added to the roles in last 45 days before the Oct. 22 deadline. According to the Secretary of State’s office 18.2 million Californians, or, 77 percent of the electorate is eligible to vote today.

Many had expected the sudden increase in registration to make up for the less fervent enthusiasm that followed Obama’s election. Some had predicted nearly identical numbers, even eclipsing 80 percent. However, a great majority of those new voters are younger and more liberal than the rest of the populations and have a bad reputation for finding something other to do on Election Day other than voting.

According to Political Data, in the five months before the Oct. 22 deadline to register, races in the 15th Congressional District, and 18th and 20th Assembly District’s saw an overall increase of around 6 percent.

In CD15, 20,764 new voters were added, but only increasing the Democratic total by 0.1 percent. Republicans dropped -0.8 percent, while independents fell by -1.1 percent.

The scene in the East Bay’s two Assembly races mimicked the numbers in CD15, although, the Oakland-centered AD18 increased its voter rolls by 8.9 percent, one of the highest increases among Assembly districts in the state.

What the numbers may be indicating is while more people are eligible to vote today, slightly fewer of them are Republicans or registered as “no party preference.”


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