Voter Turnout

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Voter TurnoutThe Republican Party will nominate Mitt Romney as its presidential candidate at the GOP convention Aug. 27-30 in Tampa Bay, Fla. Early polls show a tight race between Romney and incumbent President Barack Obama, so turnout among registered voters will be key for the winner on Nov. 6.

Among U.S. metropolitan areas, greater Portland ranked 16th in terms of the percentage of eligible and registered voters who cast ballots in the 2008 general election — 62.9 percent — according to Greater Portland Pulse. Topping the list of U.S. metros were Minneapolis-St. Paul and Milwaukee, with voting rates of 75.9 percent and 72.1 percent, respectively. Rounding out the top 10, in order, were St. Louis, Cleveland, Kansas City, Jacksonville, Columbus, Richmond, Raleigh and Philadelphia. If history is any indicator, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and Missouri could swing the general election.

Metroscape® published its first issue back in 1992 when Presidential incumbent George H. Bush squared off against then Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton and Texan Ross Perot, so it’s apt that this issue’s Indicators section examine how counties within the Portland metropolitan stack up in terms of voter turnout during the five previous general elections. The stars below show how each of the region’s six counties voted for president in the 2008 election.

Michael Burnahm is a graduate student in PSU’s Masters of Urban Planning program