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  •  Michigan was another state where low turnout (10+ / 0-)

    ...hurt Democrats in 2010.  Here's an excerpt from an article I wrote for about the effects of turnout on statewide races.

    Statewide, Republican Rick Snyder won 58.1% to Democrat Virg Bernaro's 39.9%.  In Washtenaw County, Bernaro earned a plurality with 49.89% to Snyder's 48.26%...

    The county's only slightly above average turnout and relatively small size blunted the effect of its voters' contrary behavior on the election as a whole.  The Washtenaw County Clerk's office calculated turnout at 46.85%, slightly above the statewide figure of 45%.  Also, only 3.49% of the state's population resides in Washtenaw County, enough to place it sixth, but well behind second place Oakland County with 12.09% of Michigan's population and a 52.36% turnout.  Republicans easily won all statewide offices in Oakland County.
    Wastenaw County was only one of five counties that gave Democrat Virg Bernaro majorities or pluralities of their votes.  Wayne County led the way with 60.12% the vote cast for Bernaro and 38.33% for Snyder.  Next came Genessee County, where Bernaro earned 51.26% to Snyder's 46.72%.  Washtenaw fell just short of giving Bernaro an outright majority.  Tiny Gogebic County in the Upper Penninsula followed right behind Washtenaw, giving 49.4% of its vote to Bernaro and 47.3% to Snyder.  Bernaro's home county of Ingham brought up the rear of the counties the Mayor of Lansing won, handing him a squeaker with 49.0% to Snyder's 48.8%.

    Unfortunately for Bernaro, winning majorities in the state's first (Wayne, 19.32% of the state's population) and fifth (Genesee, 4.25%) populous counties did not carry the impact one might have expect because of low turnouts. Only 529,587 out of Wayne County's 1,352,052 registered voters cast ballots on Tuesday, for a turnout of 39.17%.  Genesee County fared only marginally better, with 134,926 of the county's 335,069 registered voters participating, for a turnout of 40.27%.

    High turnout (52.36%) Oakland County had nearly as many voters participate (473,277) as Wayne County despite a significantly smaller pool of registered voters (903,874).  The high turnout, combined with a stronger showing for Republicans than in the state as a whole--Snyder won 60.07% to Bernaro's 38.33%, a margin of nearly 100,000 votes--by itself offset most of Bernaro's lead of 153,000 votes in Wayne County, with the remainder being swamped by the margin in favor of Snyder in Macomb County, the third most populous county.

    The low turnout in the two largest Democratic counties in the state, along with the merely average vote in the next two largest Democratic counties in the state (Ingham County had a turnout of 45.76%) not only doomed Bernaro, but had disastrous effects on all other Democrats on the statewide ballot.

    Here's to hoping that high turnout today, especially in Milwaukee, will prevent a repeat of what happened in both Michigan and Wisconsin in 2010.

    "The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead." ~ Paul Krugman.

    by Neon Vincent on Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 11:44:55 AM PDT

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