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October 31, 2008

Election Day weather looks sunny, mild

You may find other excuses for not voting next Tuesday, but bad weather likely will not be one of them.

National Weather Service forecasters out at Sterling are predicting "mostly sunny" skies for Tuesday, with high temperatures in the mid-60s in the Baltimore area. If you plan to vote early in the morning, there may be a chill as temperatures recover from a forecast overnight low of 42 degrees at BWI Marshall. But the rest of the day - and the rest of the week - look sunny and mild. Nothing like the rainy primary weather in September 2007, seen here.

Sun Photo/Amy Davis says much of the country will enjoy similarly voter-friendly weather. Exceptions include the Pacific Northwest, which faces rain and snow showers. But those folks are used to crummy weather like that. The Southeast may also see rain as low pressure draws wet Atlantic air onto the Florida peninsula and coastal Georgia and South Carolina.

But the weather in the blue-leaning Northeast and most of the red-leaning South and Plains states looks fine.

How does the weather affect the outcome of elections in the U.S.? AccuWeather says the popular wisdom is the bad weather hurts Democrats, because more people walk or take public transit to the polls in Democrat-heavy urban areas. Do you buy that?

Click here or read more below from the discussion on that topic.  

"The common belief is that bad weather hurts Democrats, because more Democrats live in cities and either walk or take public transit to polling stations. A rainy or snowy election day could discourage many Democrat voters from standing in long lines at busy urban polling places.

"There may be some truth to the theory. In 2005, a team of political scientists led by Professor Brad Gomez of the University of Georgia completed a ground-breaking study titled "The Republicans Should Pray for Rain: Weather, Turnout, and Voting in U.S. Presidential Elections," published in the June 2007 issue of the Journal of Politics.

"Despite the tongue-in-cheek title, the study found the weather "may have contributed to two Electoral College outcomes, the 1960 and 2000 presidential elections," and "poor weather is also shown to benefit the Republican party's vote share."

"The research team analyzed the impact of the weather on voter turnout in 14 U.S. presidential elections and concluded that rain reduced voter turnout by a rate of just under 1 percent per inch, while voter turnout dropped by almost one-half of one percent for each inch of snow.

"The study concluded that had it not been a bright and sunny day in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey on Nov. 8, 1960, Richard Nixon would likely have defeated John F. Kennedy to become the 35th President of the United States."
Posted by Frank Roylance at 10:48 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Forecasts

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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