Worst States in a Bad Turnout Election

We all know that the 2014 midterm elections–you know, the ones that produced a national referendum repudiating Barack Obama–managed to generate the lowest national turnout rates since World War II. But before we move on, it’s important to note the states where a bad cycle took a turn for the worse with especially abysmal turnout.

Michael McDonald’s United States Election Project has a chart with the latest (not official yet) numbers, and here are the worst ten states for 2014 turnout as measured by the percentage of the voting-eligible population participating in the election for the highest office on the ballot: Indiana (28%), Texas (28.5%), New York (28.8%), Nevada (29%), Tennessee (29.1%), Utah (29.6%), Mississippi (29.7%), Oklahoma (29.8%), California (30%), and New Jersey (30.4%).

At this point McDonald’s estimate for national VEP turnout is 36.1%. You’ll see some different numbers from those who measure turnout by percentage of registered voters (misleading on all sorts of grounds) participating. But it’s bad by any definition.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.