As soon as an election is over, pollsters can’t wait to tell us how particular categories of voters voted. What percentage of Hispanics voted Trump or Biden? What was the margin for blacks, women, Catholics, evangelicals, white-collar, blue-collar, etc? But there are other groups I am curious about. I wonder how dead voters broke by party? And what was the party breakdown for those lazy voters who only voted for president and didn’t have time for the rest of the ballot? What about the nostalgic voters who cast votes in states they used to live in but don’t any longer? And then there are those over-enthusiastic voters who voted twice—how did they break? What about tardy voters—those whose votes arrived unexpectedly late in the game, even after the statutory deadline? Or the forgetful voters who couldn’t remember how they usually signed their names? Details of the party preferences for all these groups might be just as interesting as those for the more conventional ones. They could even tell us something important about our two-party system.
John M. Ellis is Professor Emeritus at UC Santa Cruz and the author of The Breakdown of Higher Education: How it happened, the Damage it Does, and What Can Be Done (Encounter Books).