Now that the elections are over it might be a good time to sit back and take a look at some of the myths that emerged, or in some cases did not emerge, this election cycle.
The Youth Vote – 18%. That should be a familiar number because that is the percentage of voters considered youth voters this year. And in 2004, and in 2000. The myth of a large youth vote for the Democrat candidate has been floating out there for years. It has never come true.
The Heavy Turnout – Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan predicted 3.2 million voters would turn out on election day. She was wrong. Only 2.9 million people voted, almost 10% less than her estimate. Carnahan’s estimate was that 76% of voters would vote. That means that about 4.2 million voters are registered. Based on that, only 69% actually voted. Kansas was also well short of their turnout estimate. Similar numbers are appearing nationwide. While the turnout was very good, even perhaps a record in some states, it was far from the “heavy” predictions made prior to the election.
Obama Won - In fact, numbers are showing that McCain lost more than Obama won. McCain just never connected with his base, even with the help of Sarah Palin. Much like has happened before, the conservative base stayed home in too large a block. Obama’s total was only slightly higher than Kerry or Gore. But McCain’s was much lower than Bush. McCain never closed the deal; otherwise he may have made it a race.
Advance Voting – Even now several Missouri papers are pushing for Missouri to adopt advance voting. One of the arguments they use is that it increases turnout. But Missouri’s turnout was 69% as mentioned previously. Kansas turnout was “almost 70%”. Kansas has advance voting, yet their turnout was virtually the same. In the term of a popular cable show, that argument is “busted.”