ISBN : 9780190089467
When voter turnout is high, Democrats have an advantage-or so the truism goes. But, it is true? In The Turnout Myth, Daron Shaw and John Petrocik refute the widely held convention that high voter participation benefits Democrats while low involvement helps Republicans. The authors examine over 50 years of presidential, gubernatorial, Senatorial, and House election data to show that there is no consistent partisan effect associated with voter turnout in national elections. Instead, less-engaged citizens' responses to short-term forces-candidate appeal, issues, scandals, and the like-determine election turnout. Moreover, Republican and Democratic candidates are equally affected by short-term forces. The consistency of these effects suggests that partisan conflict over eligibility, registration, and voting rules and regulations is less important for election outcomes than both sides seem to believe. Featuring powerful evidence and analytical acumen, this book provides a new foundation for thinking about U.S. elections.
Chapter 1: If Only Our People Had Turned Out!
Chapter 2: American Turnout: A History and Portrait
Chapter 3: A Theoretical Exploration of Voting and Turnout
Chapter 4: Turnout and Partisan Vote Choice: Over Time and Across States and Districts
Chapter 5: Turnout and Partisan Vote Choice: Over Time and Within States and Districts
Chapter 6: Congressional District Results: A Further Look
Chapter 7: Why Is the Conventional Wisdom Wrong?
Chapter 8: If Turnout isn't Driving Election Swings, What is?
Chapter 9: Some Final Data and Thoughts on the Turnout/Vote Choice Link