Today is the Primary election day in South Carolina. Many pundits are pontificating on the potential of poor weather on voter turnout today. There is actually a bit of research on this very subject, so I thought I would share a bit of the data with you. Seems there is actually some data that shows poor weather, including rain does seem to keep some voters home.
The Question is, will it affect Republicans? That is an interesting question. This writer who has also published on seasonal research, suffers from chronic pain and I can say that there are a bit more aches and pains today. Will it keep me from the polls? Heck No!
In fact, It appears that Republicans actually outperform Democrats on General election days. The study said, “Each one inch increase in rain above its Election Day average for a typical county yields a gain of 2.5% of Republican vote share”
That is odd, I though folks stayed home. Could it be that gloomy weather makes conservatives use the skies as a correlate to the condition of the country?
Here is the issue for the South Carolina Primary? Which Republican candidate will do better under these weather conditions? My inference is that those who make the economy the main issue, but we don’t have good data to back that up, just guessing.
Note: As we are writing this article, a Tornado Watch was just issued for parts of South Carolina, Ouch!
Here is an article we found about political turn out and Weather:
When election day rolls around in November, that question seemingly always enters the political discussion.
Pundits spout out their beliefs – “Democrats are loving the rain in Dixie!” or “Republicans are happy to see that there’s snow in the forecast for New England!”
But again, does weather truly act as a barrier between the voter and the voting booth?
In 2007, researchers actually got down to business and sought out an answer to this very question.
The study was written by political scientists Brad T. Gomez of the University of Georgia, Thomas G. Hansford of the University of California, Merced, and George A. Krause of the University of Pittsburgh.
The researchers analyzed the affects of precipitation and temperature on voter turnout in more than 3,000 U.S. counties for 14 U.S. presidential elections from 1948 – 2000, which they say is the most comprehensive test of the weather-turnout thesis ever done.
The evidence they uncovered does indeed support the claim; rain and/or snow significantly decreases the level of voter turnout within a county.
Not only does weather affect turnout but it provides a noticeable bump for Republicans. The study found that foul weather conditions are positively related to Republican Party vote share in presidential elections.