Millions of registered U.S. voters didn’t bother to cast a ballot in the 2016 presidential election because they either disliked the campaign issues — or the candidates themselves.
Analysis of census bureau data by Pew Research shows that 25 per cent of eligible voters cited “dislike of the candidates or campaign issues” as their number one reason for not voting. That’s ahead of any other singular reason.
In past elections, dislike was far less of a cited factor. In 2012, 13 per cent of those who didn’t vote used the excuse, and in 2000 only 8 per cent said dislike of candidates or campaign issues was their reason for not voting.
It wasn’t one main group that was to blame for the the spike in candidate unpopularity in 2016. The increase in dislike among voters spanned every major racial and ethnic group, Pew Research notes, as well as non-voters of all generations.
One standout, however, was among foreign-born citizens who declined to vote; their dissatisfaction with the candidate options jumped from eight per cent in 2012 to 22 per cent in 2016.
Other common reasons people didn’t show up to the polls include being too busy, or feeling like their vote didn’t count.
Millions of registered U.S. voters failed to make their way to the ballot box for the 2016 presidential election, with voter turnout just over 50 per cent. Voter turnout in 2008 was around 64 per cent.
Since the election it’s been determined that Russia meddled in the election, favouring Republican efforts. There is an ongoing investigation into the extent of ties between Trump’s camp and Russian officials.