We're Number 42!

Political analyst Rhodes Cook last week issued one of his periodic reports, this one on the slow increase in presidential election voter turnout—even in Nevada.

“Sixty percent is a good winning percentage for a professional baseball team. And 60 percent is a strong turnout rate for a U.S. presidential election,” Rhodes wrote. “In the last three presidential contests, the turnout rate has been in that ball park. In 2004 and 2008, voter participation surpassed 60 percent of the estimated voter-eligible population (comprised of citizens age 18 and older). In 2012, the turnout rate was 59 percent. Taken together, they represent the three highest rates of voter turnout since the 1950s and 1960s, when the electorate was smaller, whiter and arguably more civic minded.”

Nevada, traditionally in the bottom five of states in turnout, still ranks only 42, but has pushed turnout above half of eligible voters—54.3 percent in the presidential election last year, according to Rhodes. That is, 1,014,918 of an estimated 1,869,000 eligible voters in the state voted in the presidential election. They voted for Barack Obama over Mitt Romney by a 7 percent margin and elected two Democratic and two Republican U.S. House members.