Secretary of State Ben Ysursa is predicting the turnout of registered voters at 80 percent in the Fall '08 presidential elections. As Ysursa told BW this week, his prognostication is based on a scientific analysis of new registrations, early voting returns and his 384 years experience in elections.
Your citydesk editor, Nathaniel Hoffman, took Ysursa's numbers on this morning at the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce annual election prognostication breakfast. Well, we thought it was to be a breakfast, but the assembled fat cat CEO's had apparently already eaten.
Hoffman joined Idaho Statesman prognosticators Dan Popkey and Kevin Richert in predicting election results from president down to the College of Western Idaho board. We told the group we don't think the turnout will be as high as people think, citing election burnout as one reason and the non-scientific results of our recent tour of Boise Albertsons. We failed to mention this to the Chamber, but we also believe that conservative Republicans that are down on McCain are not going to make any special efforts to go out and vote, setting off whatever bump in voter turnout Obama has spurred.
Popkey thought Ysursa's 80 percent estimate could be low. We'll see.
Ysursa is saying turnout will break records in terms of sheer votes; he expects 700,000 to be cast when all is said and done at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.