The truth about voter turnout
Posted by sanityinjection on August 22, 2008
It has been a truism so far in the media coverage of the Presidential race that a big part of Obama’s strategy is the assumption that Obama’s unique qualities will drive up voter turnout among populations that have been underrepresented in previous elections, and that these groups (especially African-Americans) will make the difference in the election.
Jay Cost addresses this in the context of analyzing what Obama needs to do in order to win the state of Virginia, a traditionally Republican state with a large chunk of African-American voters and a demographic trend that favors the Democrats. Cost points out that any surge in black turnout for Obama may be offset by backers of Hillary Clinton who switch to McCain:
“Every previous non-voter who votes Democrat this cycle nets Obama one vote, but every typical Democrat who backs McCain nets the Republican two votes.”
For political junkies, Cost’s full analysis of Virginia is here: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/horseraceblog/2008/08/swing_state_review_virginia.html