13 million fewer people voted in 2012 than in 2008

Here’s something very strange, which a reader pointed out. According to Wikipedia, Obama received 60,048,411 votes (50.3 percent) and Romney received 57,368,285 votes (48.1 percent).

Yet in 2008, Obama got 69,456,897 votes (52.9 percent) and McCain got 59,934,814 (45.7 percent).

How is it possible, with the U.S. population constantly increasing, mainly due to immigration, that almost 130 million people voted in 2008, and only 117 million voted in 2012?

Also, if these figures are correct, where was Romney’s famous “ground game,” designed to start with the 2008 McCain voters and build on that base?

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Dave T. writes:

Those are great questions. According to the political operatives, the Bush-McCain base enthusiastically showed up for Romney, and I believe it. But then why the decrease in votes? Is the difference older voters who have since died and been replaced by younger votes who went for Obama? That seems unlikely, but I can’t think of anything else right now.

James P. writes:

Note that 9.4 million of the 13 million votes “lost” were Democrats and 2.5 million were Republicans. You would think a candidate who lost so many supporters since the previous election would lose the election. I am surprised that so many Republican votes were lost, since I thought Romney was a much stronger candidate than McCain. Evidently a lot of Republicans took the view, “I’m staying home until they nominate a perfect candidate” or “the worse, the better.”

Ed H. writes:

I think your question “how is it possible that fewer people voted in 2012 than 2008?” is answered in the post below it by Hannon. The tyranny of liberalism works by taking huge chunks of thought out of the reach of debate, or even conscious awareness.
If everyone is equal and every form of behavior is acceptable, what is there to discuss? Everything just “is.” What is there to talk about or vote for, or to vote against? Outrage means nothing, all points of reference are erased, thought is utterly private and hence has no bearing on the outside world. Meaning itself ceases to exist. We are reaching an entropic state of permanent disorder. No energy is free to do any work, shed any light, or move anything in any direction. A pure state of chaos. Hence 13 million more people could not find a reason to go to the polls.

LA replies:

See also Ed H.’s comment yesterday on James Kalb’s The Tyranny of Liberalism.

Ken H. writes:

The vote count is just the number that have been reported so far.

If you go to this page and click Result Detail and (lower on the page) All States, you can see the estimated proportion of the votes/precincts reported.

Andrew B. writes:

Lots of votes are still being counted in California, Washington, Oregon, New York, and other populous states. If you go by the reporting percentages posted online, the amount outstanding is well over seven million and probably much more.

Just California has around four million outstanding, and Washington about two million.

There are also two million third party votes counted already.

The current totals are posted as 60.4 million to 57.6 million. Add the third party votes and votes still to be counted and the total seems to be closing on 130,000,000 votes cast, which is still a drop from 2008, but only a slight one.

Until the vote is fully counted and canvassed in a week or so, its premature to start discussing what the actual turnout is.

Rhona N. writes:

I did a brief analysis of six very blue large states. Aside from California, where Obama lost two million votes, the popular vote for Obama was down in 2012 compared to 2000. He even received fewer votes in Ohio. Apart from what the media says, was the ground game so great for him? But Romney did even worse considering he had to match or slightly exceed what McCain received, who seemed to be an unpopular candidate.

James P. writes:

It does not make any sense to me that Romney got fewer votes than McCain. Around here in Northern Virginia, people were MUCH more fired up to vote for Romney than McCain. I think the decrease in votes is attributable to fraud. And yes, I know it does no good to “whine” about this because the media will only accuse us of being sore losers and Romney has conceded anyway.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 07, 2012 12:31 PM | Send

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