An estimated 400,000 people will lose their health care if Bevin follows through on this statement.
Kentucky has not yet released data showing turnout rates broken down by party, although they typically do so at some point after the election. As a general rule, however, low turnout is a Republican’s best friend. Voters who are financially secure and who have firmly settled in a community are more likely to vote than others who are more transient and have less financial certainty. That means that groups which tend to prefer Republicans — older voters, white voters, wealthy voters — tend to turn out at higher rates than younger voters, lower income voters and voters of color — all of whom are more likely to prefer Democrats.
There is another important factor that influences turnout as well. When control of the White House was at stake in 2012, well over half of the state’s voters turned out. When control of the Senate was at stake in 2014, over 45 percent showed up. One year later, when no federal offices were on the ballot, voter turnout dropped a third from the already low rate in 2014. And this is a consistent trend seen across the country. In Houston, which voted on Tuesday to scuttle anti-discrimination protections, turnout was only 26.9 percent in this election with no federal candidates on the ballot. Turnout in Ferguson, Missouri, home of the heavy-handed police response to protesters angered by the fatal shooting of a black teenager, turnout fell from about 55 percent in 2012 to 11.7 percent in 2013, when the city held its last municipal election before the protests.
(Last April, outrage at the Ferguson police sufficiently increased turnout that two African Americans were elected to the city council. Yet even under these conditions, turnout only rose to 29 percent.)