Less than 50 percent of Ohioans will cast votes in this mid-term election. Happy Election Day.
In 2011, 47 percent voted. In 2010 it was 49 percent. In 2009, 45 percent. The last time voter participation went over 50 percent in a non-presidential year was 2006, at 53 percent. Before that? It was 1994 at 57 percent.
Presidential years show much higher participation. For instance, in 2012, a shade over 70 percent of registered voters participated. In 2008, a shade under 70 percent participated. In 2004, it was nearly 72 percent.
With the floodgates for campaign finance wide open, the spending this mid-term is gob-dropping. In the battle for the U.S. Senate, $516 million has been spent, according to OpenSecrets.org. In U.S. House races: $793.5 million.
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, in Ohio’s own 8th U.S. Congressional District, clocked in at No. 2 on the nation’s most expensive House races. In his re-election bid, Boehner has spent just over $16.5 million dollars in a gerrymandered district against Democrat Tom Poetter, who has spent slightly under $93,000. So Boehner outspent his opponent by 177 times.
OpenSecrets puts the grand total price tag of this election at $3.67 billion. Candidate and party spending is projected at $2.7 billion, while outside group and 527 classification spending is projected at $690 million.
Money talks, folks, as they say, and bullshit, well bullshit typically just sits there in patty form.
Less than 50 percent of Ohioans will cast votes in this mid-term election, and less than 50 percent of registered voters in the United States will vote.
In 2010, 38 percent of registered voters in the U.S. participated. In 2006, it was 37 percent. In 2002, it was 35 percent. The last time U.S. voter participation was over 40 percent in a non-presidential year was 1970, at 46.6 percent. The last time U.S. voter participation even sniffed 50 percent in a non-presidential year was 1966, at 48.4 percent.
This election cycle, at $3.67 billion, is slated to cost just slightly more than the 2010 cycle, which cost $3.63 billion. The 2006 election cost $2.85 billion. The 2002 cycle cost $2.18 billion. The 1998 cycle cost $1.6 billion. In 16 years, the total cost of the mid-term election has risen by nearly 230 percent.
Business dominates special interest spending, accounting for 71.9 percent of such spending in the 2012 cycle, and 74.2 percent in the 2010 cycle. By comparison, labor accounted for 3.8 percent in 2012 and 4.7 percent in 2010. Ideological accounted for 5.6 percent in 2012 and 5.8 percent in 2010. And others accounted for 15 percent in 2012 and 12.6 percent in 2010.
In 2012, business special interests gave out $2.7 billion while labor gave out $143 million. In 2010, business special interests gave out $1.36 billion while labor gave out $86 million.
In established democracies such as the U.S. and western Europe, voter participation has been on the decline for 40 years. The United States generally falls somewhere between 55 and 60 globally in voter participation. We are decidedly not No. 1 when it comes to participating in our self-governance.
Despite the fact that less than 50 percent of Ohioans will cast votes in this mid-term election, the winners in our gerrymandered General Assembly will use victory as a mandate to continue an extremist, ideological agenda that acts on the wishes of less than a quarter of citizens, but wholly on the wishes of fanatical corporate interests.
They will copy and paste model bills from the American Legislative Exchange Council and introduce them in our state legislature. They will pass them.
They will ignore thoughtful opposition. They will ignore righteous dissent. They will ignore the dire impacts of their actions and the negative consequences on tens of thousands of Ohioans’ lives. Ohio Gov. John Richard Kasich, a founding ALEC member poised for re-election, will sign their bills into law.
Ohio Gov. John Richard Kasich needs to stay in the good graces of ALEC benefactors David and Charles Koch as he gears up to be the balanced-budget amendment candidate in the Grand Old Party’s 2016 Presidential Pageant.
In doing so, Ohio Gov. John Richard Kasich will vastly overreach. Ohioans will execute a collective facepalm, and around 70 percent will show up in 2016 to cast ballots in the presidential year. That election cycle is on track to cost $7.3 billion dollars.
David DeWitt is a journalist and universal minister based out of Athens, Ohio. He has also written for Government Executive online, the National Journal’s Hotline, and The New York Observer’s Politicker.com. He can be found on Twitter @TheRevDeWitt.