Political Engagement Analysis Hints at Who Will Show up to Vote on Election Day

Otto Kitsinger/AP

An analysis of political engagement offers a peek behind the curtain of who will show up to vote in states across the United States on November 6.

“With Election Day close at hand, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on ten key indicators of political engagement. They range from ‘percentage of registered voters in the 2016 presidential election’ to ‘total political contributions per adult population.’”

Wallet Hub’s analysis shows that while a record number of people voted in the 2016 presidential elections — 137.5 million — it still only accounted for 61.4 percent of the voting-age population.

“The numbers are much worse for midterms. In 2014, for instance, 15 of the first 25 statewide primary elections reported record-low voter turnouts. Nationwide, only 36.4 percent of all eligible voters voted,” Wallet Hub reported.

And the U.S. ranks extremely low in voter turnout among developed nations — 26 of 32.

Other factors, according to the Wallet Hub analysis, include income, with only 41.4 percent of registered voters with family incomes of under $10,000 voting, while 80.3 percent of those with family incomes of $150,000 or more voted.

Some other highlights of the Wallet Hub data include: 

— The District of Columbia tops the list of political engagement in 50 states and Washington, DC, with Maine, Utah, Maryland, Washington, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, Virginia, and Wisconsin making up the top ten in that order.

— The bottom five states, in numerical order from 47 to 51, are Tennessee, Indiana, Alabama, Hawaii, and New Mexico.

— The highest percentage of registered voters in the 2016 presidential election: 1) Maine 2) Mississippi 3) District of Columbia 4) Wisconsin 5) New Hampshire.

— The lowest percentage of registered voters in the 2016 presidential election from 47 to 51: New Mexico, New York, Texas, California, and Hawaii.

— Highest total political contributions per adult conversation: 1) District of Columbia 2) Virginia 3) Montana 4) Massachusetts 5) New York.

— Lowest total political contributions per adult population from 47 to 51: Mississippi, Kentucky, Idaho, West Virginia, South Carolina.

— Blue states are more politically engaged (28.67 average ranking) than red states (20.76 average ranking).

— Young people ages 18 to 24 are most politically engaged in Virginia, and the least politically engaged young people are in Hawaii. But ten states (including D.C.) have so few young people engaged that they are not statistically significant — Montana, Vermont, South Dakota, New Hampshire, Delaware, Rhode Island, Alaska, District of Columbia, North Dakot, and Wyoming.

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