• Gore would have beaten President George W. Bush if global warming was real. If it had been a mere 1.8°F hotter, Gore would be president!
• The hotter it is, the more likely people vote for the incumbent party.
• For every 1.0°C (1.8°F) increase in temperature, voter turnout increases by 0.14%. Florida wasn’t hot enough to push Gore over the finish line!
Political rebellions and riots have been associated with warmer weather, but until now, there has been little research on its potential influence on peaceful and democratic political behavior.
A new study, published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology, has uncovered a connection between changes in temperature and voting behavior in the United States of America.
“We found that increases in state-level temperatures from one election to another are related to increases in state-level voter turnout, and increases in votes for the incumbent party,” says Jasper Van Assche, who completed this research in the Department of Developmental, Personality and Social Psychology at Ghent University, Belgium.
“Voter behavior data from each state was collected for all the U.S. presidential elections from 1960 to 2016 and compared to the difference between maximum temperature on voting day and that of the previous election day,” explains Van Assche. “We found that for every 1.0°C increase in temperature, voter turnout increased by 0.14%.”
The study also revealed that a rise in temperature motivated some citizens to cast their vote for the smaller political parties (Greens, Libertarians, Independents). Counteracting this, was the finding that warmer weather was a stronger motivator for some citizens to vote for the government currently in power.
“Although these effects are rather small compared to the ‘usual suspects’ that predict voting, they might play a role in close races,” says Van Assche.
The study details one such case; the 2000 presidential election. Applying the findings of the study, Van Assche and his co-authors suggest a mere 1.0°C (1.8°F) increase in temperature may have made Al Gore the 43rd U.S. President instead of George W. Bush, as Gore would have won in Florida.
Read more at ScienceDaily
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