Tuesday, December 2, 2008

TURNOUT NOT AS IMPRESSIVE AS EXPECTED

Heidi Przybyla, Bloomberg - President-elect Barack Obama bet on an unprecedented surge of new voters to carry him to victory last month. He won without the record turnout. About 130 million Americans voted, up from 122 million four years ago. Still, turnout fell short of the 140 million voters many experts had forecast. With a little more than 61 percent of eligible voters casting ballots, the 2008 results also didn't match the record 63.8 percent turnout rate that helped propel President John F. Kennedy to victory in 1960. . .

Experts attribute the shortfall to a combination of reasons: Many disaffected Republicans stayed home. Young voters, particularly those without college degrees, didn't turn out in the numbers that the Obama campaign projected. In states where the presidential race wasn't in doubt -- such as Obama strongholds in California and New York, or reliably Republican outposts such as Oklahoma and Utah -- turnout was lower than in 2004.

An exception was fiercely contested Ohio, where turnout fell from 2004 even after the state was targeted as a top priority by both parties.

Obama, 47, did benefit from unprecedented support among black voters and from increased turnout in demographic groups that backed the Democrat, exit polls

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