Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Just Vote Damn It!

When the election comes, there's the big issue of actual voting.
126 million people voted for president in 2004.
That's 64% of the eligible voting age citizens in America. 196,875,000
72% of eligible voters are actually registered. 141,750,000
So that means that 8% of registered voters did NOT vote in 2004- 55,125,000
Why didn't they vote? Well, they're either dead, dying, alone, hassled because they have some sort of discrepancy in their registration, or just plain cynical and lazy. I'd say that 80% of that 55
million falls into that last category- and that's just a guess.

What does 40 million votes get you (80% of 55M)?
Consider this (source- Wikipedia)
  • Bush beat Kerry in 2004 by 3 million popular votes.
  • Gore beat Bush in 2000 by less than 500,000 popular votes.
  • Clinton beat Dole in 1996 by 8 million popular votes.
  • Forget Ross Perot in 1992, Clinton beat Bush by 6 million votes.
  • HW Bush beat Dukakis by 7 million votes in 1988.
Yes, I know that more people have voted in subsequent elections as our population has grown, but the point is that each of these elections could have swung the other way if enough people actually got off their registered voter duffs and pulled the lever. Isn't it a travesty that Bush actually won in 2000? Yes. But if even 500,000 more registered democrats would have gone out to cast their vote, then Gore would have been put in office. In fact the most recent election where it wouldn't have mattered was 1984 when Reagan beat Mondale by almost 18 million votes.

Will Obama get part of that cynical 40 million to actually vote this time? Will McCain? Apparently Obama has reignited political interest in the 18-25 demographic, but will they actually vote? If they do and they are all for Obama as is predicted, then it's a no brainer.

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