Sunday, November 13, 2016

100 Million People Didn't Vote

According to the Washington Post, about 100 million people who could've voted in the US elections last week didn't.

According to a study by the United States Election Project, about 232 million people could've voted, and about 132 million did.

Politico claimed back in October that the US had passed the 200 million mark in registered voters. If that's accurate and the Election Project numbers are accurate, it means that about 68 million Americans were registered to vote last week and didn't, and about 32 million more could have registered but didn't.

It seems to me that we Democrats have some room for improvement when it comes to getting our campaign messages across. Very often in the run-up to the election I encountered the claim that Hillary and Donald are pretty much the same. Obviously, the differences between them are huge, and Democrats described these differences accurately and eloquently -- but apparently millions of people who despise Trump and didn't vote for him either never heard us, or heard us and didn't believe us. They despise Hillary too.

How do we improve at getting information across? How do we convince people that leading Democrats are honest, and that we did not, in fact, just nominate history's greatest monster for President?

I don't know. But it's something that we should be thinking about very seriously. How to get through.

I would've thought that a great majority of Americans are by now very concerned about climate change. If that were true, then it would have been an example of American voters not realizing that one Presidential candidate -- Hillary -- shared their concern and had all sorts of plans to deal with the issue, while the other candidate -- Donald -- is completely out to lunch on the topic. However, this web page from the Pew Research Center seems to indicate that barely a majority of Americans are greatly concerned about climate change. Only 68% of Democrats surveyed, and 20% of Republicans, agreed with the statement "global climate change is a very serious problem." Okay, so there's obviously a very serious weakness when it comes to basic scientific education in the US -- a catastrophic weakness among Republicans, but a very serious weakness among Democrats as well. We need to get people to understand science better.

The incoming Republican administration is not going to be very helpful with education. Fox and Breitbart and the "History Channel" are not going to be helpful at all. I'm sorry, I wish I were just brimming with helpful suggestions about how to turn this all around. The only hopeful thing I can say is that I see numerous surveys suggesting that younger voters vote Democratic more often, are well-educated on climate change more often, are more in favor of equal rights for women and ethnic minorities and LGBT's -- they're just more Democratic. That gives me hope that this is all turning around. Just not as quickly as we'd like.

Having a distinguished professor and pre-eminent intellectual such as Elizabeth Warren in the Oval Office would be tremendously helpful. Warren 2020!

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