Tag Archive: turnout

Have you voted yet? You have until 8:00pm

“Millions of Americans have given up on our political system.  It is a sad state of affairs as so many fought and died to protect our democracy.” – Senator Bernie Sanders today on MSNBC

In the 2012 presidential primary New Jersey voters only produced an 8.8 percent voter turnout. In 2013 when we had primaries for the governor, state senators and assemblypersons, the turnout was under 10 percent, which even county clerks admitted was “very low” for the state.

It appears this year with one state senate and 80 assembly seats the turnout may be as low or lower. The number of current registered voters who can participate in the primary is 1,750,385 Democrats and 1,057,466 Republicans or a total of 2,807,851 voters (plus people who affiliate with an R or D party today.)  As all 40 districts are apportioned to the same population number there is an an average of about 70,196 eligible R and D voters in each district. We will learn later the actual turnout level.

The number of candidates competing for seats decreased in 2015. We need some changes in our primary system. Also, when there is low turnout on the part of Democrats, it could hurt them in the next re-apportionment of districts.  

November 4, 2014 Turnout and Voter Registration

A couple of points are apparent in this election: Registering voters in one’s party is important but it does not assure higher turn out for that party. Republicans did much better than Democrats in turnout this year. We are skating on thin ice if we don’t do better. While we probably can’t do much about the ill-effects of gerrymandering and incumbency, we should be able to increase our turnout and maybe even increase our representation in congress.

This year (as in the past) Democrats had far more registered voters (1,796,000) than Republicans (1,081,000), but you would not guess that from the results: six congressional Democratic wins and six Republican wins. Of course, in our state unaffiliated registered voters are the wild card, and this year there were 2,611,000 of them. Nonetheless, Democrats had far more of their registered supporters sit it out (or vote for the opposite party) than Republicans, and it’s not just because this is a “Republican Year” or a non-presidential year.                  

73%, 47%, 43% … 32%?

Update:  And the answer is … an all-time low of 26%. That’s just sad. -JG

New Jersey is unique in so many ways, not the least of which is our 4-year election cycle. Unlike most other states, which combine their federal and state races and take a break every other year, we have critical elections each and every year. But, unfortunately, we have a hard time keeping voters’ attention, so the cycle ends up looking like this:

  • Year One: the Presidential Year – even in years where the outcome is a foregone conclusion, voters will come out to register their choice. In 2008, NJ voter turnout was 73%.
  • Year Two: the Gubernatorial Year – one of only two states that elect their governor the year after electing a president, turnout drops off significantly, but there’s still pretty good participation. In 2009, NJ voter turnout was 47%.
  • Year Three: the Midterms – whether a referendum on the President, or the Congress, the midterms carry national attention, but never seem to draw the same voter participation. Despite the highly charged atmosphere in 2010, NJ voter turnout was only 43%.
  • And now Year Four: the Legislative Election – the entire legislative branch of government in our state is up for election – all 40 Senate seats, all 80 Assembly seats. And, what kind of turnout should we expect? Well, if history serves as a guide – in 2007, NJ voter turnout was a paltry 32%.
  • Why Primaries Matter.

    Today is Primary Day in New Jersey, and polls are open from 6a to 8p. You should vote! (and here’s the dirty secret why):

    Even after statewide redistricting this year, it remains a fact that the vast majority of legislative districts in the state are a virtual shoo-in for one party or the other in November. That means in the vast majority of legislative districts in the state, the only real election that will take place this year for representation in Trenton is happening today.

    That’s why it’s not just registered Democrats and Republicans who should care about today’s primary. Every voter should care – because your Senator and your Assemblymembers are mostly being chosen today, not in November. And, for Democrats in Democratic districts, that means the winners are the people who will be expected to take the fight to Gov. Chris Christie for the next two years.

    In most places, there is no contested primary. But, in those few places where there actually are contested primaries, you need to vote, and you need to choose wisely. Who will better represent you for the next 2 years? Who will stand up to Chris Christie? And, who will stand up for Democrats and progressive principles?

    If you know that, then you know who deserves to represent you in Trenton. So, go vote! 🙂

    Lowest turnout on record, but most voters since 1997

    The Divison of Elections certified the official voter turnout numbers the other day and we set a record:

    Turnout was 46.9% – the lowest on record for a gubernatorial election, down from 48.5% in 2005 and 49.3% in 2001, the only other times less than half of registered voters turned out at the polls.

    Looked at another way, though, the turnout of 2,451,704 voters was the most for a governor’s race since 1997 and marked a 105,000 voter increase over the election four years ago.

    The percentage turnout is affected by the presidential election registration surge typically seen every four years, which was particularly large in 2008. There were 390,000 more registered voters in 2009 than four years – and it’s likely that a goodly number were interested in the race for the White House but less jazzed about the run for Drumthwacket.

    Here’s a link to the official results. The Christie/Guadagno ticket received 1,174,445 votes compared to 1,087,731 votes for Corzine/Weinberg.

    Poll: If Democrats turn out after all, the race is close

    The latest Monmouth/Gannett New Jersey poll is out, and the headline is “Christie Continues to Lead, But It Depends on Who Votes.”

    To understand what they mean, let’s take a little day trip over to Virginia, where polls have shown the Democrat Creigh Deeds slowly gaining on the Republican Bob McDonnell.  As TPM’s Eric Kleefeld says about PPP’s polls:

    In the top-line, McDonnell still leads with 49% to Deeds’ 42%. However, this is a big shift from the 51%-37% McDonnell lead from a month ago. There has been a significant shift in the make-up of the likely voter pool: A month ago, respondents had voted for McCain by a 52%-41% margin, while the new pool is at McCain 49%-45%. This is still a long way from the actual result last fall, when Obama carried the state 53%-47%.

    Are we really going to have this year’s elections decided by the people who went for Bush, and don’t have any regrets? PPP finds evidence Democrats are getting more excited even in South Carolina. So turnout is key. Let’s come back home, and see what Patrick Murray’s Monmouth/Gannett poll found:

    Among likely voters, Christie now holds an 8 point advantage over Corzine – 47% to 39% – with 5% for independent Chris Daggett. While this is similar to the Republican’s lead in July, it is down from the 14 point advantage he held in August, when Christie led Corzine by 50% to 36%….

    Another indication that this race is far from settled is how the race stands when the preferences of all registered voters are considered, including those both likely and unlikely to vote on November 3rd. Among all registered voters, the “horse race” narrows to basically a tie, 41% for Corzine and 40% for Christie. The Republican had a 4 point lead among registered voters in the August poll and a 6 point lead in July.

    I don’t think we should jump for joy: There’s nothing good about an incumbent at 41% in the polls. But we should keep in mind that here in New Jersey, down in Virginia, and nationwide there’s pretty good swing waiting to be had, if we can just  get our voters “fired up.” How to do it? Hard work by the staffers and volunteers, for sure, but that’s not enough. Let me know what you want to see.  

    Excitement and Concern over Turnout on Tuesday

    In between making phone calls through BarackObama.com (it’s easy!), I listened to a conference call in which Democrats discussed turnout in Atlantic County. Participants included Congressional candidate Dave Kurkowski, State Senator Jim Whelan, and Beth Schroeder of Atlantic County Democrats. Here’s what I viewed as the takeaway messages:

  • Huge turnout is expected, and first time voters may slow lines. Voters should make arrangements to arrive early and have enough to time to vote, just as they make arrangements to deal with any other important thing they have to do. (Of course, if you listened to Blue Jersey, you already voted.)
  • If newly registered voters did not receive their card, and we know this will happen in many cases due to the huge number of recent registrations, they should still be able to vote. If they are not in the book, they should request a provisional ballot. Challengers should be trained to deal with this situation.
  • Whelan and Kurkwoski both believe South Jersey voters should be getting the message that if they support Barack Obama, they should also vote for Democrats in all the downballot races.
  • There is unprecedented intensity and interest in volunteering. Atlantic County had over 200 people sign up to volunteer, and over a thousand people show up.  
  • Democratic volunteers will be encouraging the people in long lines.
  • Visualizing the Senate primary, part 2

    Yesterday, Juan mapped the Democratic Senate Primary results by county, which helped show how Andrews poor performance outside of his two base counties of Camden and Gloucester contributed to his blowout loss in Tuesday’s primary. Today, we bring you maps of turnout in both the Democratic and Republican primaries. First, the Democrats:

    Rob Andrews lost on Tuesday despite high turnout from his base in Camden and Gloucester County. Democratic turnout in the two counties that lie partially the New Jersey’s 1st Congressional District was 27.1%; in the rest of the state, only 19.0% of registered Democrats went to the polls. Andrews lost on Tuesday because he did poorly outside of his congressional district.

    Now, for the Republicans:

    From a quick glance at the Republican map, it is clear that down-ballot races drove turnout in the GOP race. Competitive US House primaries in the 3rd and 7th districts contributed to the high turnout in Hunterdon, Somerset, Ocean, Burlington and Union counties. In those five counties, turnout averaged 22.7%, compared to just 15.8% in the rest of the state.