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NOBODY Wins Big!!!

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Real clear election results
(image by Michael Collins)

In the perpetual democracy pageant that takes place in Washington, DC, the representatives, including the president, are all minority representatives.

The people have spoken. Their preference is clear. By an overwhelming majority, the favorite candidate of the American public is NOBODY.

But, wait, that makes no sense. There were election contests all over the country including elections for the House of Representatives in every state. Every contest had a winner. Didn't we hear about turnout above 50% in some states? That's correct. However, the winner by far, consisted of those who simply didn't vote. They chose NOBODY.

Like unemployment, banking, and other critical data coming from the government(s), turnout isn't really turnout. If there are 2,000 voters registered and 1,000 show up to vote, government figures say there was a 50% turnout. But, if there were 3,000 eligible voters, then turnout could better be stated as 33% since only one in three eligible voters bothered to show up.

Here are the real turnout numbers:

  • Only 36.6% of eligible voters (real turnout) bothered to vote.
  • Six states had real turnout between 50% and 60%
  • Eighteen states had turnout between 40% and 49%
  • Twenty one states were between 30% and 39%
  • Six states had turnout below 30%

Michael McDonald, U.S. Elections Project, George Mason University

Let's look at the turnout winners and losers, the highest and lowest in real turn out. Note that in the top six states, only one in two citizens find it is worth their time to vote.

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Real Turnout - Top and Bottom of the Barrell
(image by Michael Collins)

Here's the most important point of looking at real turnout. In every single election, the winner always trailed NOBODY, the percent of eligible voters who chose not to vote.

In the perpetual democracy pageant that takes place in Washington, DC, the representatives, including the president, are all minority representatives. You simply combine NOBODY plus the tally for the representative's opponent and you get some big margins for people who refuse to endorse the sitting representative.

Here are some examples of the power of NOBODY.

NOBODY Wins Big!
(image by MIchael Collins)
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How about that! The know it all from Texas, Senator Cornyn, only got the votes of only 18% of eligible voters. The vaunted Koch tool Scott Walker did better at 30% of those eligible to vote. You can be sure that these two won't talk about real turnout. Why? That measurement shows that their mandate comes from small to very small constituencies.

Why such low real turnout?

First of all, don't blame the people. They're making a rational choice given the alternatives.

There are arguments that the election system in the United States often times discourages voting. Federal elections are held on a Tuesday, which may have made sense in 1776 but makes absolutely no sense today. Why not a Sunday?

Simplified registration and voting independent of one single Tuesday might make a difference. Stupid laws requiring voter identification might make a difference. You can be 100% sure that the six lowest turnout states in the graph above have a variety of impediments to registration and voting.

Even when you have east of voting options like same day registration and vote by mail, the power of NOBODY remains strong. Four of the top six real turnout states have same day voter registration: Colorado, Iowa, Maine, and Minnesota. The average turnout for those four is just 53%.

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