Typically when you see videos or news stories about crime and dysfunction in major cities, you'll see people say "They voted for this". However, the issue isn't that they voted for this but rather that they aren't voting.Speaking Wrong At The Right Time is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Great point.. These turnout numbers actually drastically underestimate the problem. Because these are all Deep Blue cities, the only election that matters is the Democratic primary.
Typically, primary elections have much lower turnout than general elections, and they are dominated by ideologues who are very unrepresentative of typical voters.
This is unfortunately the rule in American politics today. The ideologues control the process, and Normies are tuning out.
Great analysis and a very persuasive diagnosis of the problem--I wonder if your hopeful take on the possibility of change could be right? Makes me want to run for Mayor of New York!
This is a very powerful analysis that gives these forgotten voters in Blue cities hope for change. It’s easy to assume incorrectly to believe that these voters keep voting for these do nothing Mayors, Governors etc. just because of party loyalty. I’m guilty of this assumption. There is a tremendous opportunity to reach out to these apathetic voters and present a positive change. Individuals like Scott Pressler and Brandon Stratka have made great progress offering hope to these voters in the Republican Party.
Adam...this article has some good information in it but i think we should also ask why are they disaffected? Why don't they vote? Who has told them their vote doesn't count? Once we understand that, then we can help them reclaim their agency. Also,there are rumblings that some communities get approached by ballot harvesters who 'volunteer' to take their ballot to the polling stations. That also has to stop... Vote in person. Period.
Nothing will change until Citizens United is overturned. There is entirely too much $$ from big business (dark money) invested in candidates. Those that win are beholden to the $$ and investors that got them elected. It doesn't matter how many people vote....the outcome will still be the same. Over turn Citizens United!
As a 20 plus year Angeleno I am so glad you brought this up. I hear this all the time & have to explain that no one votes here in LA & that Beverly Hills ain't LA, it is its own city, but they have to live with what LA decides & are a very red Republican stronghold in a blue city. People do vote here but not many, you can look up the numbers it is free info but so much apathy among people so they don't bother. I worked out congressional campaign for a friend, I learned a lot. She didn't win but it was eye opening. There are all number of things that also keep so much from getting voted on here like collecting signatures and all the nitpicky things that count as a signature. I can see how people just feel like their vote wont matter but there is a lot going on before anyone can vote.
Excellent commentary on a sad situation... it explains a lot!
While I think your thesis is true about the human nature behind these voting patterns, I’ll play devils advocate for a moment.
The most recent Chicago mayoralty election had two Democrat candidates, one who ran on a law and order platform, and Brandon Johnson, who ran on an extreme “progressive” platform.
Essentially, Chicago voters had a real choice, yet they did not vote in significant numbers, and even went on to choose the candidate most in line with the same “progressive” policies which had been proven not to work.
Is Chicago an outlier? Maybe. Or maybe there is a more systemic issue. I don’t know.
Those low figures are eye-popping. Another factor contributing, imo, is that the 2 major parties, except for a handful of politicians, are perceived as not having many differences. One just has to look at the past Presidents (R and D) ganging up to undermine Trump.
Don’t forget most people don’t have the day off from work and it is always a Tuesday. If you’re trying to survive a 45 minute or so diversion is costing you sleep/income/ whatever.
This is an unfortunate reality!
What is the turn out for comparatively well-run (or Red) cities? Are there any?
Interesting analysis; Joetato claims he got 81 million votes - more than Barry Sotero did in 2008 or 2012; Where all those extra votes did come from? In another democRAT stronghold, Seattle, the Bad Orange Man got both more raw votes, as well as a a higher percentage of the total in 2020 than he did in 2016. Anecdotal yes, but something smells fishy in Denmark....