Voter turnout update

Michael McDonald posts his updated estimate of voter turnout. Here’s the updated graph:


And here are McDonald’s comments. They are interesting from the standpoint of statistical inference as well as politically:

My [McDonald’s] revised national turnout rate for those eligible to vote is 61.2% or 130.4 million ballots cast for president. This represents an increase of 1.1 percentage points over the 60.1% turnout rate of 2004. . . .

My [McDonald’s] initial estimate of 133.3 million ballots cast proved to be too high due to an over-estimation of absentee ballots outstanding in states that have in the past reported a smaller proportion of their mail-in ballots on election night. . . .

Oregon and Washington appeared to suffer from a turnout decline similar to other states that lost their battleground status from 2004, further including Maine, West Virginia and Wisconsin (South Dakota’s decline may be a consequence of the hot 2004 Senate race between Daschle and Thune which drew more votes than president in some counties). The largest turnout rate increases from 2004 were experienced in states that shifted onto the battleground, such as Indiana, North Carolina, and Virginia. Other non-battleground Southern states such as Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina (and the District of Columbia) experienced turnout increases, perhaps a consequence of high turnout among African-Americans excited to vote for president-elect Obama. Turnout declines in deep red states such as Alaska and Utah may reflect less enthusiasm among Republicans for Sen. McCain.

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