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Voters line up outside the Madison city clerk Voters line up outside the Madison city clerk's office to be among the first to cast ballots early for the Nov. 6 election on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin is one of just nine states where both President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney are campaigning heavily as the election nears. (AP Photo/Scott Bauer)  

Gallup: Voter turnout likely down from 2004, 2008

A Gallup analysis of poll data finds that voter turnout for the current election cycle will likely be down from both the 2004 and 2008 levels.

“U.S. registered voters report giving less thought to the election, and are less likely to rate their chance of voting as a ’10′ on a 10-point scale, than in 2004 and 2008, two higher-turnout elections,” Gallup wrote Tuesday. Its analysis was based on the Gallup Daily tracking polls from Oct. 15-28, before Hurricane Sandy swamped the Northeast.

“In years like 1992, 2004, and 2008 when turnout was greater, more registered voters have tended to say they are giving at least some thought to the election, and to rate their likelihood of voting as high as possible.”

“The Gallup numbers are generally a pretty good predictor of turnout,” the Washington Post writes.

“Political science generally tells us that high turnout favors Democrats,” the Post adds, explaining because more people identify as Democrats than Republicans, which is why Democrats spend so much time and money on get-out-the-vote efforts.

High turnout or not, Gallup reported last Friday that while the voting electorate for 2012 looks quite similar to that of 2008 and 2004, in terms of demographic turn out, “most groups are currently less likely to support Obama now than they were in 2008.”

Gallup adds, “The electorate has also become less Democratic and more Republican in its political orientation than in 2008. In fact, the party composition of the electorate this year looks more similar to the electorate in 2004 than 2008.”

Conservative pollster Dick Morris explained the Gallup finding shows why mainstream polling is wrong, because they discount this “Republican surge.”

Instead, most polls count the uptake in Republican identification as “sampling error in their polls and re-weight the data to make it conform to the traditional partisan divisions, thus obliterating the real trend and obscuring what is actually going on,” Morris wrote on his website Monday.

“The fact is that the country has moved sharply in the direction of the Republican Party since 2008 and even since 2010,” he adds.

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