Before we get all caught up in the “change” meme, a look at the numbers, that is the popular vote, still shows that as since 1988, we are still pretty much a 50/50 nation. CNN, this morning at 95% is reporting that the Obama Tsunami barely crested past a 5% margin of victory. You have to go back to 1984 before you see a double-digit margin of victory.
So we have about 7 million votes separating McCain and Obama. If you look at the electoral map, a large part of the country still somehow voted the McCain/Palin ticket to win. Compare to 2004.
3 million votes separated Bush and Kerry. But interestingly it looks, although CNN is still not reporting 100% in 2008, that the voter turnout in popular vote was higher in 2004.
Granted, 2004 and 2008 represent steep increases in vote turnout. For point of reference here is the 2000 link.
Click on the Connecticut results for the interesting mirror to the nationwide number crunching, with only 95% of 2008 Connecticut reporting, it looks like the vote total is below 2006 numbers, and that even with the missing precincts, the total looks to barely, as a few thousand, exceed the 2006 vote.
For all the hype about the high turnouts, I would have expected the underlying total vote to reflect the same.
UPDATE: I’m not the only one curious about the numbers. From A VC yesterday:
I heard on the weekend news shows that we might see 135mm people cast a vote this year. If so, it’s a big move up. Here’s some data I pulled together this morning, going back to the 1960 election, a year before I was born.
You’ll note that I am projecting Obama to get 10mm more votes than McCain today. We’ll see if that in fact happens, but I am optimistic. This chart shows that we’ve witnessed a significant increase in voters in the past three elections. That is good news. But to really see what’s going on you need to factor this by total population which I did in the following chart.
This chart shows that if I am right about the 135mm votes this election, the percentage of the US population (as measured by the census) who votes will have increased from 35% where it has largely been stuck for 40 years to almost 45%.