iOS app Android app

Michael P. McDonald
GET UPDATES FROM Michael P. McDonald
Dr. Michael P. McDonald is Associate Professor of Government and Politics in the Department of Public and International Affairs at George Mason University and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Entries by Michael P. McDonald

Sanders' Future Not Bright if He Needs High Voter Turnout

(63) Comments | Posted February 21, 2016 | 10:33 AM

Bernie Sanders said on Meet the Press, in analyzing his Nevada loss:

...we will do well when young people, when working-class people come out. We do not do well when the voter turnout is not large. We did not do as good a job as I had wanted...
Read Post

Iowa's Caucus Turnout and What It Means from Now until November

(0) Comments | Posted February 2, 2016 | 11:52 AM

At long last the 2016 presidential nomination contests have finally started with the conclusion of the first contest, and we now have the first solid glimpse at voter participation.

186,874 Iowans participated in the Republican caucus and 171,109 participated in the Democratic caucus, for a total of...

Read Post

Democrats Lose Virginia Senate Control Because They Don't Vote

(72) Comments | Posted November 4, 2015 | 12:50 PM

The Democrats have a serious problem in elections other than those for president -- voter turnout.

In the latest example of the ineptness of the Democratic Party and their supporters, the Democrats lost a chance to win control of the Virginia Senate because their voters failed to show up at...

Read Post

The 2014 Electorate: The Continuing White Decline

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2015 | 10:15 AM

The Census Bureau has recently released an important report that reveals patterns of voting and registration in the 2014 election, known as the Current Population Survey Voting and Registration Report.

The report reveals the continued changing racial and ethnic face of America, which Census demographers project...

Read Post

Early Voting Pulling Into the Station

(0) Comments | Posted November 2, 2014 | 9:18 PM

More than 17 million people have voted in the 2014 election. As the early vote pulls into the station, it is time to interpret the meaning of these numbers. I track early voting statistics here.

It's now possible to see how states are faring in their early vote...

Read Post

Early Voting Entering Final Stretch

(4) Comments | Posted October 26, 2014 | 5:32 PM

The last week of early voting -- and the last week before the election -- is upon us. As of Sunday, Oct. 26 over 7.6 million people have voted. If past patterns hold true, the number of voters will ramp up at an increasing rate as we enter the final...

Read Post

Early Voting Rounding the Bend

(0) Comments | Posted October 19, 2014 | 10:54 PM

With early voting in full swing, more than 1.9 million people have cast a ballot in the 2014 midterm elections. I track early voting statistics here.

Predictably, dueling spin about early voting has emerged from the Democratic and Republican camps. Republicans point to a better showing among early...

Read Post

Early Voting Picking Up Steam

(0) Comments | Posted October 12, 2014 | 5:39 PM

Early voting pace is starting to pick up steam. With a little more than three weeks to go, voters have cast 642,831 ballots in all reporting jurisdictions. I track the early vote and provide statistics here.

With so much early voting activity over 2010 in the key Senate...

Read Post

Early Voting and Still a Month to Go

(1) Comments | Posted October 4, 2014 | 12:30 AM

The second week of early voting has ended and 88,371 people have voted in all reporting states, with 31 days to go until Election Day on Nov. 4. I track these early voting statistics for states and localities that publicly report them here.

The majority of these voters...

Read Post

2014 Early Voting Underway

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2014 | 11:32 PM

Fall has just begun and voters are already casting ballots in key states holding U.S. Senate races that will likely determine which party will be the Senate majority. So far, at least 18,000 people have already cast mail ballots as of Friday, September 26, 38 days out from Election Day...

Read Post

Only Some Southern Whites Are the New Blacks (and Many Are Not)

(56) Comments | Posted April 25, 2014 | 2:06 AM

Southern Whites didn't vote for Obama (and by association, won't vote for Democrats). So argues the New York Times' Nate Cohn in a provocative piece entitled "Southern Whites' Loyalty to G.O.P. Nearing That of Blacks to Democrats." Mr. Cohn goes on to warn, "The collapse of Democratic support...

Read Post

Does Turnout Doom Democrats in 2014?

(18) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 3:31 PM

I love turnout stories. There is a spooky one being told around Democratic campfires that goes something like this: Democrats will lose big in 2014 when Democrats disappear from the electorate.

All good scary stories have an element of truth. Yes, Democratic turnout is comparatively lower...

Read Post

Early Voting Looking Promising for McAuliffe

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2013 | 1:30 PM

Virginia early voting turnout data point in a similar direction as the polls that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe is doing substantially better than the Democratic ticket did four years ago.

The method of early voting provides the first piece of evidence. As of Election Day morning, the number...

Read Post

North Carolina Speeds Up to Run Election Red Light?

(44) Comments | Posted July 2, 2013 | 3:36 PM

Republicans are at it again, making it harder to vote. This time, North Carolina Republicans are contemplating reducing the number of days of in-person early voting, including the Sunday before the election; axing the state's "one-stop" voting which allows people to register and vote in-person early,...

Read Post

Geography Does Not Necessarily Lead to Pro-Republican Gerrymandering

(27) Comments | Posted July 1, 2013 | 3:13 PM

In 2012, Republicans won control of the House of Representative despite Democratic candidates winning a combined 1.5 million more votes than Republican candidates. How is this possible? The aggregation of votes into single-member districts through redistricting is the cause. It has happened before. Similar anti-majoritarian outcomes occurred in the 2000...

Read Post

A Modest Early Voting Rise in 2012

(2) Comments | Posted June 12, 2013 | 4:29 PM

The percentage of voters who cast their ballot before Election Day modestly increased from 29.7 percent to 31.6 percent from 2008 to 2012, according to a Census Bureau survey.

The Current Population Survey, November Voting and Registration Supplement asks respondents if they voted on Election Day or before Election Day....

Read Post

2012 Election: A Failure to Mobilize the Youth Vote

(12) Comments | Posted May 10, 2013 | 4:44 PM

Among the most dramatic findings reported in the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS) is a large decline in turnout rates among young people, particularly those who were first eligible to vote in the 2012 election. In contrast, older persons' turnout rates remained steady, or even increased. Given...

Read Post

2012 Turnout: Race, Ethnicity and the Youth Vote

(71) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 4:59 PM

An important election survey that reveals patterns in voting and registration is the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey November Voting and Registration Supplement, or CPS for short. The 2012 CPS reveals insights to major stories about the election divined from the exit polls: the changing face of the...

Read Post

Who Registers to Vote Online?

(2) Comments | Posted April 29, 2013 | 2:02 PM

A sensible election administration reform is quietly sweeping the nation. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 18 states have implemented or recently adopted online voter registration, either initiating a new registration or updating an old one. Twelve other states have legislation winding its way through the...

Read Post

Reassessing Colorado's Turnout

(6) Comments | Posted April 14, 2013 | 3:17 PM

Colorado legislators are contemplating changes to their election laws this week that may result in higher turnout. A report issued by Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler figures prominently in the deliberations, which triumphantly touts "the most successful (election) in Colorado history," implying that no changes...

Read Post