Does weather impact Election Day results?

6:40 PM, Nov 5, 2012   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - When it comes to the weather on Election Day, political folklore says bad weather favors Republicans, but that theory might be more myth than fact.

The theory stems from the belief that Republicans are more dedicated to voting than Democrats.

A 2007 Journal of Politics study claims "there is virtually no solid empirical evidence linking weather to voter participation."

The paper does; however, go on to report that rain can reduce voter participation by just less than 1 percent.

When it comes to snow, the study claims one inch will reduce voter turnout by .5 percent.

"It really is largely sort of a myth here that it doesn't favor one particular party or another because of bigger factor influencing turnout is things such as the motivation of people who want to show up to vote, maybe their own personal health, maybe a whole bunch of different factors," said David Schultz, Hamline University professor.

The Election Day forecast for the Great Lakes region, including parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin, is calling for seasonal temperatures with a chance of rain and light snow.

Nationwide, mild weather spans much of the west and southern states, as well as the northeast, while thunderstorms are expected in the southeast.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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