• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This book addresses the issue of why 51.2% of the population of the USA failed to vote in the November 1996 presidential election. Through polls and studies conducted in the spring and summer of 1996, the contributors set out to answer the following questions: what were the 51.2 percent doing that day? Who are they? Why didn't they vote? The results are summarized into five types of nonvoters: doers, unplugged, irritable, don't knows and alienated.

Profiling America's Nonvoters—Their Voices
Profiling America's nonvoters—Their voices

The weekend before the 1996 presidential elections, seven national polls were conducted. All were quite accurate. When averaged, according to an article in The New York Times, they showed President Bill Clinton with 49% support. Clinton emerged on November 5 with 49% of the popular vote.

All seven polled probable or likely voters. Earlier in the campaign, national polls used looser screens to separate probable voters from the likely nonvoters. Nonetheless, the goal was the same: to hear from those likely to vote in an effort to predict as accurately as possible who would win the election.

More and more, political strategists, candidates, parties, and the news media are ignoring the half of America that isn't likely to vote.

In a ...

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