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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Turnout Did Not Increase in 2008

Michael McDonald has analyzed census data to find that the much-hyped increase in turnout did not take place.

The Census Bureau's Current Population Survey, Voting and Registration supplement confirms that African-American and youth voter turnout increased between 2004 and 2008. The statistics from the survey indicate that the 2008 electorate became more representative of the American citizenry. Disparities in yurnout rates among various demographic categories decreased between 2004 and 2008.

The CPS survey indicates that the national turnout rate and registration rate declined a slight 0.2 percentage points between 2004 and 2008. Using estimates of the voting-eligible population and the number of people who voted, I previously reported that the turnout rate increased by 1.6 percentage points between 2004 and 2008. I thus believe that the CPS decline is more apparent than real. The CPS is a survey and is prone to both statistical and non-statistical survey methodology errors, just like any other survey. When there are small changes in statistics from one election to the next, these survey errors are more likely to produce a discrepancy like the one here whereby the actual turnout rate increased slightly and the CPS turnout rate decreased slightly.