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.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.