Thursday, November 06, 2008


The Irish Times editorial starts with "WHAT A marvellous day it was - the first black president of the United States, the hugely increased turnout and public engagement ...". What if the turnout wasn't all that "hugely increased", would the day have been any less "marvellous"? I only ask because I can't make sense of the turnout figures.

This page claims that turnout was 64.1% or 148m voters. But, if that's true then where are all the other votes? As of right now, with 98% of the precincts reporting Obama has 64m votes and McCain has 56.5m. That only adds up to 120.5m votes and when all the precincts have reported that will still only be around 123m. We can throw in another 2m for the minor candidates (I'm in a generous mood), which would make total vote around 125m. In 2004 the total vote was 122m, which - given the fact that the voting age population was about 10m smaller in 2004 - would mean that turnout was down this year. Not quite as "marvellous", I guess.