Preliminary figures suggest fewer people voted this year than four years ago, when voters shattered turnout records as they elected Obama to his first term.
In most states, the numbers were even lower than in 2004, said Curtis Gans, director of American University’s Center for the Study of the American Electorate. Every state but Iowa is showing a smaller turnout than in 2008, Gans said. Still, the full picture may not be known for weeks because much of the counting takes place after Election Day.
“This was a major plunge in turnout nationally,” said Gans, who estimated about 126 million Americans voted, for an overall turnout rate of about 57.5 percent.
“Beyond the people with passion, we have a disengaged electorate,” Gans said.
USA Today noted in August: