Welp, we have another election day coming up. I’ll admit I’ve been a little further removed from this election cycle than most people, for two reasons:
- We are undergoing a massive inspection at work tomorrow (gulp) and have been swamped preparing for it. Any thoughts or prayers for this welcome.
- I live in a state where most of the races are pretty lopsided.
For point #2, we have Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren currently up by 22 points, and Republican Governor Charlie Baker currently up by almost 40 points. My rep for the House of Representatives is running unopposed. The most interesting race in our state was actually two Democrats with major streets/bridges named after their families duking it out, but that got settled during the primaries. I’ll vote anyway because I actually have strong feelings about some of our ballot questions, but most of our races are the very definition of “my vote doesn’t make a difference”.
However, I still think there are interesting reasons to vote even if your own personal vote counts minimally. In an age of increasing market segmentation and use of voter files, the demographics that show they consistently vote will always be more catered to by politicians. I mentioned this a while ago in my post about college educated white women. As a group they are only 10% of the voting public, but they are one of the demographics most likely to actually vote, and thus they get more attention than others.
This shows up in some interesting ways. For example, according to Pew Research, during the election Gen Xers and younger will be the majority of eligible voters, yet will not make up the majority of actual voters:
There are race based differences as well. Black voters and white voters vote at similar rates, but Hispanic and Asian voters vote less often. Additionally, those with more education and those who are richer tend to vote more often. While that last link mentions that it’s not clear that extra voters would change election results, I still think it’s likely that if some groups with low turnout turned in to groups with high turnout, we may see some changes in messaging.
While this may be mixed for some people who don’t tend to vote with their demographic, it does seem like getting on the electoral radar is probably a good thing.
So go vote Tuesday!