Monday, July 27, 2009

US Census releases turnout data for 2008

Its a pleasure to contribute to the new blog. Thanks to Fred Solop for giving me some space to post my thoughts.

The US Census released their turnout data for the 2008 Presidential election. The press release reports:
About 131 million people reported voting in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, an increase of 5 million from 2004, according to a new table package released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. The increase included about 2 million more black voters, 2 million more Hispanic voters and about 600,000 more Asian voters, while the number of non-Hispanic white voters remained statistically unchanged.
Younger voters were the only age group to show a significant increase over 2004, but the press release goes on to say that younger voters still had the lowest voting rate, at forty-nine percent. The age groups over the age of forty-five years voted at a rate of sixty-nine percent and higher.

I think this fits with the narrative of the 2008 election, with much of the media attention on Obama's campaign mobilizing new voters and African American voters. While Hispanics increased their raw numbers, their population also grew, so there was no significant increase in the rate of Hispanic voter turnout.  I mentioned back in November that I had my doubts that Hispanics would turnout in high numbers for Obama.

Its nice to see an increase in young voters, but still this confirms the old political science truism that young people don't vote at the same rate as the older folks. Its no wonder they bear the heaviest burden of our budget woes, with cuts in education and the extraordinarily high budget deficits (currently estimated to be about 1.8 trillion dollars) that these young folks will ultimately have to foot the tab for. Not to mention that a universal health care system would shift a great amount of the burden from older folks (who use a lot of health care) to the younger non-voting taxpayers who don't use much health care.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Visiting Buenos Aires

I'm here in Buenos Aires following attendance at the 21st World Congress of Political Science in Santiago, Chile (July 12-16, 2009). Buenos Aires is beautiful. It has such a European feel to it. Not sure why I came here in Winter though. I can only imagine how amazing this city is in summer.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A New Blog Comes to Town

This is the first posting on the new High Altitude Politics blog. High Altitude Politics is a project sponsored by faculty and graduate students in the Department of Politics and International Affairs at Northern Arizona University. Our department offers a doctoral degree in Political Science, two masters programs (MA, MPA), a graduate certificate program and we have responsibility for the Public Management emphasis of NAU's Masters of Administration Degree.

We hope you enjoy reading this blog and you follow us regularly.