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Saturday, January 15, 2005
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via WaPo: Election Turnout in 2004 Was Highest Since 1968

The final numbers are in — and turnout in the 2004 presidential election, it seems, was a bit more impressive than previously believed.

The Committee for the Study of the American Electorate reported yesterday that more than 122 million people voted in the November election, a number that translates into the highest turnout — 60.7 percent — since 1968.

President Bush officially won 62,028,719 votes, which was 50.8 percent of the ballots cast and 11.5 million more than he won in 2000. Sen John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) took 48.3 percent, or 59,028,550 votes. That was about 8 million more than Al Gore won in 2000. Independent Ralph Nader won 440,513 votes, less than 0.4 percent of the total. In 2000, he won more than 2.8 million votes.

Turnout was 6.4 percent higher than in 2000, the largest uptick in voter participation since the 1952 election. The numbers are a bit higher than the research group’s initial estimates, which were based on unofficial tallies and released days after the election.

Impressive all that way around-although even as early at November 3rd it was clear that the tunrout was going to be in the 60% range (and that was higher than the 55% I had predicted).

The numbers support the general hypothesis about turnout that a closely competitive race bolsters turnout and also underscores the very successful get-out-the-vote efforts by both parties.

And, as usual, lots of folks stay home:

The report noted that although turnout reached new heights, more than 78 million Americans who were eligible to vote stayed home on Election Day. The group estimated that Bush won just 30.8 percent of the total eligible voters.

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