William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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FACTS, FACTS, FACTS – AT 9:22 A.M. ET:  We've urged our readers to get the facts first before listening to th talk first-think later pundits, who had deep opinions five minutes after Ohio was decided.  It may, for example, be a myth that turnout this year was dramatically down from 2008, as Andrew Malcolm reports:

You know how the overall voter turnout for this week's presidential election was disappointingly down so much over 2008? It's been all over online sites since Tuesday.

Well, wait one.

The friendly folks over at Public Opinion Strategies have crunched the numbers and come up with an interesting different view.

It shows while this year's total may be down, it's down nowhere near what all the democracy fretters are wringing their hands over. And they may end up actually quite close.

According to a short study POS has just distributed to clients, most of the nation's political world is looking at 2012 voter turnout slightly skewed, not comparing apples to oranges necessarily but comparing, say, Fuji apples to Gala apples.

While it's true, "turn-out as a percent of Citizens of Voting Age population will be down this cycle," POS partner William McInturff wrote, "there’s still a chance the total vote cast will be as large or slightly larger than in 2008."

And, in fact, his calculator found voter turnout in those now infamous nine swing states is actually up, as in increased over 2008. See, all those Obama attack ads were actually aimed at enhancing voter turnout.

To the extent there was a national voter decline, nearly half of it apparently came from three key, so-called Sandy states -- New Jersey, New York and Connecticut -- where post-storm routines and services have yet to return to normal.

COMMENT:  Ah, facts.  They're so lovely, and so lacking in much of the "reporting" we get.  We will know far more a week from now than today, and even more a month from now.  So be careful.

November 9, 2012