HOUSTON - With millions casting their ballots across the country in the early voting process and tens of millions more to go on Tuesday, the decisive election cycle that has lead to the bludgeoning of millions of facebook friends and countless more twitter blocks will soon be over.
However Momma Nature still has to cast her ballot which can be partisan and potentially pivotal depending on the weather.
The election could literally sway the way the wind blows!
According to constitutioncenter.org, "rain significantly reduces voter participation by a rate of just less than 1 percent per inch, while an inch of snowfall decreases turnout by almost 5 percent. Poor weather is also shown to benefit Republicans."
This was never more true than in the elections of 1960 and 2000.
When Senator John F. Kennedy was running against Vice President Nixion in 1960, it was an election closer than just about any in modern history. According to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, only 11,500 votes separated Kennedy from Nixon across five states.
Two of the swing states that year were Texas and Illinois -- both carried by Kennedy ( by 2% and .18% respectively) in razor thin margins and likely thanks to heavy rain ahead of an advancing cold front as seen by the dark shaded areas from this November 8th, 1960 weather chart:
It is likely that the rain may have played a roll in rural, small town republicans staying home instead of voting. The rain however had moved out of Chicago leaving behind tranquil weather and urban democrats that would not be put to "undue convenience." Taking Texas and Illinois provided Kennedy with 51 electoral votes and the presidency -- among other close states.
In the election of 1972, a whopping 4.35 inches of rain fell on Tunica County, Mississippi which kept an incredible 3.8% of eligible voters at home according to History News Network. However that wasn't enough to sway the election in the ruby red state.
Fourty years after the 1960 election, almost to the day, later, the same thing would happen but this time in Florida where Governor Bush and Vice President Gore, each winning the state and then losing the state, fought hard to collect the states 25 electoral votes and subsequently the presidency.
While it was the Congress that pushed Bush into the White House, it was likely the weather that was the ultimate nemesis to a Gore administration.
Many websites indicate that there was widespread rain across Florida on Election Day in 2000. However, the surface charts I've pulled don't seem to indicate bad weather at all. Therefore a bit more research will have to be done to determine what took place in Florida 16 years ago. Having lived in Florida, a surface chart is only half the story and it is conceivable that widespread pop up showers were there and was enough to keep a mere 537 people home that day -- the margin in which Bush won the state by.
Trump vs. Clinton
This year it seems the big swing states will be mostly spared the wrath of mother nature as most of the country will be well above average in temperatures and dry.
The only trouble spots I see are in the swing states of Michigan and Ohio where rain could water down the turnout -- a 'win' for the Republicans overall where adverse weather tends to suppress the democratic turn out.
Other than that, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania appear to be all systems go for high voter turn out.
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