Another myth from the 2016 election explodes

A report from the non-partisan U.S. Elections Project has destroyed another myth about why Donald Trump was able to win the White House.

The liberal narrative about why Hillary Clinton lost has included myths like that the majority of Trump voters were racist, or the FBI interfered, or, of course, the Russians hacked the election and handed the victory to the candidate they wanted to win: Trump.

What the narrative misses is the fact that Hillary Clinton was the worst Democratic presidential candidate in more than a generation.  A majority of voters didn't like her personally and didn't trust her. 

But another myth from the election had a ring of truth to it: that a depressed turnout was a major reason for Trump's triumph.  As it turns out, the U.S. Elections Project study blew that one out of the water as well.

The Hill:

More voters cast ballots in November’s elections than when President Obama won reelection in 2012, though the number of Americans who showed up to vote remains well below all-time highs set half a century ago.

About 139 million Americans, or 60.2 percent of the voting-eligible population, cast a ballot in November’s elections, according to data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project. That compares with 58.6 percent of eligible voters who turned out in 2012, but it’s below the 62.2 percent who turned out to help elect Obama for the first time in 2008.

Last year, President Trump won just shy of 63 million votes – enough to secure a majority of the Electoral College, even though he fell almost 3 million votes shy of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

The states where Trump and Clinton battled most fiercely also tended to be those where voter turnout was highest. Nine of the 13 states where voter turnout was highest were battleground states.

Battleground states had the highest turnout, but other states that allowed same day registration also benefitted from increased voter participation:

Nearly 3 in 4 voters in Minnesota turned out to vote in November’s elections, a rate higher than in any other state. Last year marked the eighth time in the past nine elections that Minnesota notched the highest turnout in the nation. Clinton won the state’s 10 electoral votes by a slim 45,000-vote margin. 

More than 70 percent of voters turned out in Maine, New Hampshire, Colorado and Wisconsin, all states where both presidential campaigns invested heavily. Turnout hit 69 percent in hotly contested Iowa, and more than two-thirds of voters cast ballots in Massachusetts, Oregon, Maryland and Virginia.

No one is arguing that same day registration doesn't boost the number of votes cast.  The argument is over whether it makes voter fraud easier.  So far, there is little evidence either way.

An argument can be made from the numbers that the Trump vote in vital swing states was boosted by his presence on the ballot and had nothing to do with racism or tall tales about the FBI. 

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