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Political Wire
November 5, 2001 11:05 AM   Subscribe

Political Wire aggregates the latest news coverage on tomorrow's elections and highlights Tuesday's weather in Virginia, New Jersey and New York City. All of the forecasts say it's going to be a wonderful day -- sunny and mostly sunny -- as voters go to the polls. But here's the real question: Does this favor Democrats or Republicans?
posted by flip (12 comments total)

 
Good weather tends to favor Democrats, as Democrats tend to make "weaker" voters as a group and are less likely to turnout if the weather is bad. Therefore, good weather = slightly higher Democratic turnout.

There are many reasons for this. One reason is that Dem party members tend to make less money, and are less likely to vote, just in general. Another reason would be that the Dem. party does a spectacular job of mobilizing and election day turnout efforts. These efforts are probably harder to execute if the weather is not cooperating.
posted by Witold at 11:40 AM on November 5, 2001


Another factor, according traditional thinking, is that Republicans see voting as a duty while Democrats see it as a right, making Republicans more likely to overcome adverse conditions to vote.

...meaning good weather would be expected to benefit Democratic candidates more than Republicans.
posted by NortonDC at 11:50 AM on November 5, 2001


NortonDC: Heard the demographic explanation for weather effects before, plenty of times (the vote of the lower economic strata declines the most, and students turn out in fewer numbers too), but yours is a new one. Sounds more like traditional partisan thinking, rather than traditional thinking. To my knowledge, though, there's no definitive study of weather effects and they are probably minimal in most elections. It's a swing vote thing, at best.
posted by raysmj at 12:28 PM on November 5, 2001


Very bad weather hurts the less organized side. And that's useless because in politics, the most organized side almost always wins.
posted by brucec at 1:03 PM on November 5, 2001


I don't think I heard NortonDC's factor either. Interesting.

In my experience, this is one of those things that you know sometimes makes a difference, but is impossible to prove, since you can't predict turnout accurately enough before the election and then see how weather conditions impacted it.
posted by Witold at 1:25 PM on November 5, 2001


I heard it from a relative of (Democratic) former Senator David Boren.
posted by NortonDC at 2:04 PM on November 5, 2001


Back when my parents' home became a Democratic Party get-out-the-vote HQ on election days, we knew that "rainy weather was Republican weather." Why? More GOPers had cars and could drive to the polls; more Dems walked or took the bus and got wet and tired and stayed home...unless volunteers ferried them to the voting booth.
posted by Carol Anne at 2:20 PM on November 5, 2001


Actually, the turnout story is largely a myth [scroll down 1/3] that hasn't been true, if it ever really was, for a generation. We do know, however, that more people self-identify as Democrats, but they are generally slightly less motivated to vote. This can favor Democrats given certain other conditions, but nationally it probably comes to a wash.
posted by dhartung at 9:45 PM on November 5, 2001


Ah, a more detailed paper on voter turnout. "Nonvoters differ minimally from voters."
posted by dhartung at 9:51 PM on November 5, 2001


As liberals and progressives are obviously resposible for bringing good weather to all of us, they should reap the benefits on election day. [wink]
posted by abosio at 6:21 AM on November 6, 2001


good weather favors democrats. everyone knows that republicans are bloodsucking creatures of evil who are burned by the pure light of day.

why do you think they support the burning of fossil fuels? if all that resulting pollution in the air blocks out the sun, then they'll be free to do their evil deeds twenty-four hours a day.
posted by tolkhan at 6:33 AM on November 6, 2001


Early returns for VA:

Warner (D) wins governor
Kaine (D) wins lieutenant gov (probably)
Kilgore (R) wins Att. Gen. (easily)
posted by NortonDC at 7:44 PM on November 6, 2001


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