What is turnout going to be for the Special?

In the November 2008 general election, there were about 12.5 million votes in each of the proposition totals. In the 2005 special election, there were less than 8 million votes. And in 2006, there were about 8 and a half million votes.  2005’s turnout for a special election was rather astonishing, but much of that can be attributed to a fantastic turnout effort by labor and the vilification of the Governator.  Nothing turns people out like a really good us vs. them fight.

Yet, there just aren’t any story lines to increase turnout this year. Nobody is particularly excited, save a few John and Ken afficianados.

“This election has not captured voters’ imagination in any way, shape or form,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll. “Most voters have a limited knowledge or interest in what’s taking place May 19.”


DiCamillo anticipates a 25 percent to 33 percent turnout in this election. By comparison, 79.42 percent of registered California voters participated in November’s election. He predicts that 42 percent of the electorate will be Democrats and 40 percent Republicans – a much more partisan balance than the latest registration figures show.(SacBee 5/13/09)

For comparison, the registration stats currently stand at a 44.6-31.1 split in favor of Dems. That being said, modeling this election is darn near impossible. Will vote by mail voters be more likely to send in their ballot than poll voters? As we are at about parity between poll voters and VBM now, will we see a big spike for this election?

Robert touched on SUSA’s idealogical breakdown, and the comments have a nice discussion of their turnout model. In the end, I just don’t see a lot of the newly engaged voters getting excited about this mess.

So, what’s your guess on turnout.  If you get it right, well, I’ll give you a sticker.

12 thoughts on “What is turnout going to be for the Special?”

  1. that in the Survey USA poll, on each of the propositions, 5 to 10 percent of those who have already voted were not sure how they voted.

    For instance, on Prop 1A, Survey USA found that 38% of their likely voters have already voted.  Of these, 41% were “certain yes,” 50% were “certain no,” and 9% were “not certain.”

    Viva democracy!

  2. Am planning to bring a couple of good novels — if we get 100 people out of our 1000 registered district, I’ll be surprised.

  3. I think that Solano voter’s right, that 70% of the election is absentee.

    This will be a new record low for turnout in California, and the votes that have already been mailed have already determined the election.

    1a to 1e are going down.

  4. I’m not even voting, to be honest. I don’t want to touch this one with a ten foot pole. The problem is terrible, the proposed solution is terrible, fuck if I know what to do about it.

    It’ll be the first time in my entire voting-age life that I’ve intentionally skipped voting.

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