Voter turnout for the 2012 Presidential Election was lower than Obama’s first bid back in 2008, according to The Economic Times.
Curtis Gans, the director of American University’s Center for the Study of the American Electorate, explained that people just didn’t show up to vote this year. Early figures suggest that the difference between 2012 and 2008 is in the millions.
According to The Associated Press, around 117 million are estimated to have turned out to vote for president this year. In 2008, a record-breaking 131 million voters showed up for the historic election. If these early numbers are to be believed, then voter turnout was down roughly 11 percent.
“Beyond the people with passion, we have a disengaged electorate,” Gans explained. “This was a very tight race, there were serious things to be decided.”
News of a lower than expected voter turnout isn’t much of a surprise for Michael McDonald, a political scientist at George Mason University. McDonald believes that people have experienced campaign fatigue this year thanks to the connectivity of social media.
“Part of the issue is we have too much democracy,” he added. “We’re just voting a lot in the US.”
According to MSNBC, nearly 40 percent of Americans were expected to skip this year’s election. Out of the 169 countries that tracker voter data, the United States ranks 120th in the world.
Given that President Obama won this year’s election, University of Virginia’s Center for Politics analyst Kyle Kondik explained that Democrats weren’t as apathetic as they were portrayed.
“Everyone was talking about how the Democrats are unenthusiastic and the Republicans are fired up,” Kondik explained. “It sounds like that was all talk.”
It could be weeks before an official number of voters will be released, as much of the counting reportedly takes place after the election.
Why do you think voter turnout was lower than it was in 2008?