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PA-Gov: Turnout for 2014 Gubernatorial Contest Dropped By 12.4%

PA-Governor-Mansion2In off-presidential years, it’s usually the state gubernatorial races that draw the most voters to the polls.

But such was not the case in Pennsylvania last year — nor in two-thirds of the other states that hold midterm-year gubernatorial elections.

According to Sabato’s Crystal Ball, 25 of the 36 states that elect their Governors in off-presidential years experienced declining voter turnout in 2014. And Pennsylvania was one of the 13 states where voter turnout dropped by more than 10 percentage points since the last election.

In 2010, 3,989,102 Pennsylvania voters cast a ballot in the Governor’s race, but in 2014, 3,495,866 turned out to the polls. The difference amounts to a 12.4 percent drop in voter turnout over just four years.

Other states within the -10 to -19 percentage range included Wyoming, South Dakota, Arizona, New Mexico, Tennessee and New York. The latter, the only other state in the category with a Democratic winner, experienced an 18 percent decline in turnout.

For many of the 11 states that encountered an uptick in voter participation, there was also a hotly contested Senate race in the state.

Rhodes Cook of Sabato’s Crystal Ball attributes the drop in overall turnout to people’s disdain with the government in general.

“But in recent years, it seems as though voters have become more attuned to what they do not like in American politics than what they do,” Cook writes, adding that voters “appear to be tiring of the shrill partisanship, ‘my way or the highway’ rhetoric, and the frequent examples of government dysfunction that follow.”

One Response

  1. For the month of March, the PA turnout appeared to drop another 75%. There was a bug in the SURE reporting software used to make the disk dumps the state dept sells to candidates, activists, organizations and database vendors. All 8 million registered voters were in the file, but it showed only 400,000 Dems turning out to vote in Nov 2014, instead of the 1,600,000 who actually did vote.

    The problem was fixed Tuesday, and the new data files released Wednesday. This resulted in killing their server for the day as dozens of people who had purchased the files for download during the month clicked the link in their notification email, and tried to grab a 550 MB file. 🙂

    So had Sabato used the data file last month, he would have gotten a very odd result.

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