The FRANKENSTORM has us thinking about how weather can affect an election.
As anyone who has seen “The West Wing” season four episode seven knows, it can change everything.
In the episode a California Democratic campaign manager prays for rain to hit his heavily Republican district in Orange County, hoping to discourage the elderly Republican locals from showing up. Rain comes the manager is elated (see video) and the Democrats win:
But can inclement weather really affect the election?
The evidence is somewhat unclear. Last May, the United Kingdom held its own elections during a storm. And according to Polly Curtis at the Guardian, there isn’t a correlation.
Oxford election specialist John Curtice added:
We’ve had one or two general elections when it’s been raining in some parts of the country and not in another and there has been no significant variation in turnout. Nobody has ever really done the analysis for local elections. It’s one of the most common theories of turnout but nobody has ever found the evidence to back it up. We tend to avoid elections in December and January because snow can make a difference.
However, this is America, and the Weather Channel says there is an effect. According to a September study, 35 per cent of undecided voters say inclement weather will affect their decision on whether or not to get out and vote — a number that could decisively shift the election.
We can only hope that FRANKENSTORM, which hits New York on Tuesday, will be a distant memory by the weekend.
SEE ALSO: Who is the undecided voter?
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