30 years ago common wisdom said there was little difference between the beliefs of voters and non-voters. However, a new book, Who Votes Now? Demographics, Issues, Inequality and Turnout in the United States, shows that today there’s a marked difference between the issue preferences of those who vote and those who don’t. The groups divide on key economic and social concerns, with consequences for representation and public policy.
By double digits, non-voters are more likely to support the new healthcare law and government services. Additionally, they are more likely to support government job guarantees and more school aid. These differences matter. For example, support for a 2006 ballot measure to raise the minimum wage in Ohio differed substantially based on household income. Eighty percent of voters with household income of $15,000 or less supported the increase, compared to 39% of voters with household income of $200,000 or more. It passed because younger, lower-income voters – often among the party of non-voters – became voters and had their voices heard.
Hear about the turnout and representation gap and its implications for your nonprofit and community. Join a special webinar presentation on the book Who Votes Now? by author Jonathan Nagler. He’ll share highlights from the book on the composition of the electorate, new analysis of the missing voices, and policy preferences of younger and lower-income voters who turn out to vote at lower rates. Does it make a difference who votes? The book’s answer is an unequivocal “yes.” Register now for the April 24th webinar.