Voter Turnout Helps Determine 2008 Election Research Proposal

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¶ … Voter Turnout Helps Determine 2008 Election

The 2008 presidential was a historic event within American and global politics. The first African-American man was elected into office by the American majority through an exciting and defining moment in American history. Much of President-elect Obama's support came from the surge in new voters and enormous voter turnouts which yielded higher numbers of general, minority, and youth voters. With these enormous voter turnouts, the fate of the presidency was decided. However, these large numbers of turnouts also helped decide various local and state elections which also provided great controversy within this year's election results; such as the strong African-American support for banning gay marriage in several states. It was through this huge increase in voter turnout that the fate of the American country has been decided -- at least for the next few years.

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Turnout in general increased within the context of this year's historic presidential election. An astounding 136.6 million Americans voting in this year's presidential election was reported by the Associate Press (Bornstein 1). Millions of Americans stood in long lines waiting for their chance to help determine the fate of the country. That means that 64.1% of the nation came out despite long lines and waits to vote in the 2008 primary race, (Bornstein 1). These astounding numbers were reported to be the highest voter turnout in 100 years, since the Taft 1908 election at 65.7%. The 2008 primary election brought out more voters than America has seen in generations. These enormous voter turnouts were foreshadowed earlier this year with a February report exploring heavily increasing numbers of people registering to vote, (Martell 1). In many cases these new first-time voters registered Democratic. States like Nevada saw huge increases of newly democratic registered voters, where in January of 2008, the number of registered Democrats flew to 606,209, (Martell 1). Although many were not too quick to extol the rising numbers of Democratic registered new voters, it was a fact which definitely help pan out a Democratic victory in the election.

Research Proposal on Voter Turnout Helps Determine 2008 Election the Assignment

In many cases, the white majority seen within many elections has begun a steady decline, with Caucasian-Americans making up around 74% of the general voter turn out, (Bornstein 1). That's a sharp decrease from the 2000 election only eight years ago which showed the percentage of white voters at 81%. Along with this trend, comes a decrease in Republican supporters; these votes being replaced in many instances with Democratic support at the polls, (Bornstein 1). Several predominately Republican states conceded to Democratic support. States like Wyoming and South Dakota turned blue this election. This decreasing number of white voters, unfortunately, lost some crucial support for provocative ballot measures, such as California and Florida's consecutive bans on same sex marriages.

Tight races for local seats also prove responsible for high numbers of voter turnout across the country. In North Carolina, a close Senate race got huge numbers of voters to the polls, (Bornstein 1). These high turnouts also appeared in Indiana, Delaware, Virginia, and Alabama. Local and state races proved just as provocative in the 2008 election as the overall general turnout. Seemingly scandalous state elections brought forth national attention and also helped increase the number of voter turnout within particular states. The California statewide election provoked national media attention through its successful attempt to pass Proposition 8, which effectively banned same sex marriage within the State, and therefore eliminating the rights of same sex couples who were married earlier in the year, (Ferris & Phillip 1). What resulted were completely shocking results. Despite California being a predominately Democratic and liberal state, the ban against gay marriage won by a slight margin, in art thanks to the large number of minority voters which showed up on Election Day.

The most important result, however, was that of the position of President-elect. This huge increase in voters, especially first time voters, gave Obama the advantage about Senator McCain. The large increase of minority voters also helped add to Obama's large network of support throughout the country. Obama took not only the young American demographic, but also the age brackets of 30 to 44 and 45 to 59 years of age (Morgenstern 1). In many cases this art switch was caused by the dissatisfaction of the people over the current economic crisis this country now faces. Many Republican registered voters turned Democratic based on the fear of the current financial crisis. As the crisis hit so close to the election, it was definitely a fresh wound within the minds of the enormous numbers of voters who cast their ballots in hope for a better future.

The decrease in percentage of Caucasian voters is also attributed to the higher turnouts of minority voters, such as the African-American and Latino-American communities, (Bornstein 1). This year's crucial election saw the outpouring of minority voters to their local polling places. Higher numbers in generations were reported in various counties and districts all over the state. It was clear that the minority vote would no longer stay quiet and allow the rest of the country, i.e. white Republicans, make any more decisions for them.

African-American voters made huge headlines with their record breaking turnouts all over the nation. Most African-American sympathies went with the Democratic candidate, which had been guessed and held by political annalists since the beginning of the year. Even President-elect Obama had utilized reports of a strong black turnout this election in the campaign period before November 4th. According to the Washington Post, Obama made appearances on several programs appealing to the African-American demographic explaining how the black voters of the United States could really make a difference in this election, (Thompson 1). He also associated the generally harder times African-Americans feel within this current economic slump, and encouraged viewers to do their part in the 2008 election, saying "We can really make a difference if everybody turns out,"(Thompson 1). These encouragements lead to a large support of African-American voters answering Obama's call; therefore having a much bigger difference on elections all over the nation.

Large numbers of African-American voter turnouts also sealed the fate of many close state and local elections. The passage of California's Proposition 8, the ban on same sex marriage, had a relatively large part due to the turnout of large numbers of black voters all throughout the state. An astounding 70% of African-American voters in the state voted for the passing of the ban, (Ferriss & Reese 1). That is an amazing majority within the African-American community of California, one which helped weight the election results for the passing of Proposition 8, despite California as being one of the most liberal states within the Union. Florida's Amendment 2, another ban on same sex marriage, was also affected in large part by increasing black voter turnout, (Farley 1). Just like California's ban, this Amendment would have placed a ban on gay marriage within the literature of the state's constitution. Also like California, Florida's ban passed -- in large part to black voters voting with such bans. The St. Petersburg Times reported that some 69% of black voters in Florida supported the ban there, (Farley 1). Many explain the religious fervor within the African-American community as the resulting reason so many black voters supported the passage of bans against gay marriage in several key state elections, (Ferriss & Reese 1). Predominately more religious than most liberal whites within the state of California, black voters in general had larger numbers of supporters for bans on gay marriages than previously expected.

Other hot bed election issues were settled in part to the large numbers of African-American voters. Also in Florida, in Lee County, large African-American numbers at the polls this 2008 election determined the fate of a heated Sheriff run off, (Whitehead 2). Lee County had a little fewer than 89% African-American turnout this year; an amazing turnout for the area. This was the case in key elections all across the nation, with record numbers of African-American voters being reported by numerous districts all over the country.

The number of Hispanic voters also rose dramatically in the 2008 elections, as reported by various states across the country. Increasing numbers of new Latino voters, along with previously registered voters making a bigger commitment to attend the polls that election night. With 66% of Hispanic voters supporting Obama over a 23% support of McCain, they in deed helped determine the overall election of the next President of the United States, (Lopez & Minushkin 2). In districts around the United States, numbers of Latino voters casting their ballots for Obama continued to give him a great advantage over the Arizona Republican Senator John McCain. The 65% of Latino voters registered Democratic also helped determine local and state races (Lopez & Minushkin 3). In Nevada, a 50% increase to 2004 election's 10% turnout was noted by the Las Vegas Sun, (Pratt 1). These record numbers helped boost the state's support for President-elect Obama, with 76% of Hispanic… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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