Study: Election Day weather affects outcomes

There’s an old adage that republicans should pray for rain on Election Day. A 2007 Journal of Politics study may provide some scientific support to that notion.

The study examines the effect of weather on voter turnout in 14 U.S. presidential elections. The conclusions are documentable and remarkable. Rain and snow on Election Day have a measureable effect on turnout.

According to the study; for every inch of rain that falls above the Election Day average, voter participation falls by nearly 1 percent…and Republican candidates receive an extra 2.5% of the vote.

From the study:

More precisely, for every one-inch increase in rain above its election day normal, the

Republican presidential candidate received approximately an extra 2.5% of the vote. For every one-inch increase in snow above normal, the Republican candidate’s vote share increases by approximately .6%.

The study also claims that rainy weather in Florida may have cost Al Gore the presidential election in 2000.

Could democrats benefit from good weather in close races in 2010?

There seems to be consensus among political pundits that republicans have the political wind at their backs on Election Day 2010.

Tuesday’s forecast looks mostly dry, relatively mild and storm free around the nation.

It will be interesting to see if the good weather boosts turnout in some of the closer races Tuesday.

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A dry forecast for much of the nation on Election Day 2010.

PH

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