Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

The Turnout

Don't reach conclusions based on anecdotal fluff about how many Americans are likely to vote; wait to hear from election officials with real data. The big question: Whose supporters are more likely to be deterred from voting by long lines? Obama's young, new and low-income voters, who might be put off by the wait and are too busy to commit several hours to exercising their right to cast their ballot? Or McCain's less motivated backers, who are more likely to see their cause as hopeless? In the end, overall turnout could be so high that McCain may duplicate John Kerry's dubious distinction from 2004 — he could get more votes than any presidential candidate in his party's history and still lose.

See pictures of 60 years of election night drama.

Read dispatches from the election frontlines.

Read "7 Things That Could Go Wrong on Election Day."