Elections in the News

Will the weather affect turnout?

Some days ago we were speaking about unexpected events happening on Election Day.

It rarely rains in Pasadena, but today a light cool rain fell during the night. According to AP, “the National Weather Service was forecasting rain throughout the Los Angeles area and in some parts of the Sierra Nevada in Northern California, potentially throwing a wrench in voters’ plans.”

The Pasadena Star News reported that heavy turnout is expected for today. Remember that asides from the Presidential race, there’s a lot more on California’s ballot:

In addition to their division over same-sex marriage, voters appeared split on another attempt to require parental notification for minors seeking abortions, two initiatives to boost the state’s use of alternative energy and three to address crime and punishment.

But will people turnout under the rain?

There are early voters who already got out to vote under the rain. In Idaho, AP reports that brave voters “waited in long lines at early polling stations Monday, sometimes in the rain and often for more than an hour, out of fear that lines would be much longer come Tuesday.”

Reuters reports that “Weather looks good for most of U.S. on Election Day .”

However, according to The Hill, “election weather presents challenges in swing states:”

Weather forecasts in Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina – all of them potential swing states in this year’s race – are predicting rain on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service and The Weather Channel. Slightly lower chances of rain are predicted for the Western swing states of Nevada, Colorado and Montana.

Clear skies are forecast for the rest of the 2008 battlegrounds, with sunshine expected in Florida and clear skies in the Midwest.

Will this benefit any of the candidates?

Researchers Brad Gomez, Thomas Hansford and George Krauses studied turnout information and more than 22,000 weather reports and found that every inch of rain beyond average Election Day levels benefited the GOP presidential candidate by an extra 2.5 percent of the vote.

For an updated Election Day weather forecast, check out this link.

Inés and Janell