Everybody has an opinion on politics, but many aren’t voting

Texas ranked as one of the least politically engaged states, coming in at 41.

With Election Day coming up and only 61.4 percent of the voting age population having voted in the 2016 presidential election and 36.4 percent in the 2014 midterm, WalletHub has released its report on 2018’s Most & Least Politically Engaged States.

WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 10 key indicators of political engagement. They range from “percentage of registered voters in the 2016 presidential election” to “total political contributions per adult population.”

Political Engagement in Texas (1=Most; 25=Avg.)

  • 49th – % of Registered Voters in 2016 Presidential Election
  • 48th – % of Electorate Who Voted in 2014 Midterm Elections
  • 47th – % of Electorate Who Voted in 2016 Presidential Election
  • 17th – Total Political Contributions per Adult Population
  • 18th – Civic Education Engagement
  • 38th – Voter Accessibility Policies

WalletHub Analyst Jill Gonzalez said in the 2016 presidential election, Texas had the third lowest percentage of registered voters in the country. That's twice as low as Mississippi, New Hampshire and Wisconsin.

She said in the 2014 mid-term elections, there was a tendency for record low turnout.

“The people who have registered aren’t voting. Texas had the fourth lowest percentage of its electorate who voted in the last midterm and the fifth lowest in the last election,” said Gonzalez.

She said that's the tendency for states that are always red, or blue. 

“There’s a sense of ‘my vote doesn’t count. I know what the result’s going to be. So, why vote? Why even register?’ And, I think that is definitely the case in Texas,” said Gonzalez.

She added there's low participation for young voters, ages 18-24, as well as older voters 65 and older than in other states.

Highest participation was in Washington D.C., Maine, Utah, Maryland and Washington.

The lowest participation was in Tennessee, Alabama, Hawaii and New Mexico.

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