Sunday, January 09, 2011

Mandate? Landslide? Let's count ALL the voters

Frank Rich used "Reagan" and "landslide" many times in his article, "Let Obama's Reagan Revolution Begin", 2011-01-09.

I was going to post the following as a comment, but I was too late as comments were already closed.

Please stop using the term "landslide" to describe Reagan's win of the 1984 election.  Forty-three percent of the voters didn't even show up, indirectly voting for "none of the above."  Ronald Reagan did receive 58.7% of the votes of those who did show up which is impressive.  But if one considers the no-shows, he had the backing of only 33.5% of the people.  In other words, he came in second to none of the above.

If we reported elections with all the relevant data we could either stop winners from declaring a "mandate" or get more people out to vote the next time.

See also "Voting is not a horse race" and "If you don't vote, you have only yourself to blame".