Report: Only About 36 Percent of Those Eligible to Vote...Actually Did

Posted: Nov 10, 2014 5:30 PM

Which is, as you might expect, historically anomalous.

For example, as Time reported earlier today, more eligible voters participated in the 1942 midterm elections than in the elections we just witnessed. And of course, as Time also points out, many eligible voters in 1942 were either (a) off fighting Imperial Japan or (b) preparing to invade continental Europe. Astonishing stuff:

The last time voter turnout for a national election was as low as it was on Nov.4, Hitler was still in power, and Mitch McConnell was only nine months old.

Only 36.4% of eligible voters voted in this year’s midterm elections, down from 40.9% who voted in 2010, according to preliminary analysis by Michael McDonald at the University of Florida. The last time voter turnout was that low was 1942, when only 33.9% of voters cast ballots, according to the United States Elections Project.

These are just the preliminary figures and therefore by no means official. But what’s beyond dispute is voter participation rates in 2014 were extremely, almost alarmingly, low. This is one reason, perhaps, why Democratic candidates lost so many close elections, in blue states like Illinois and Maryland, and in battleground states like North Carolina and Colorado.

The Democratic base was nowhere to be found on Election Day. As a result, the president’s party suffered heavy (and indeed historic) losses at both the state and federal levels.