Abstract:It is commonly believed by pundits and political elites that higher turnout favors Democratic candidates,
but the extant research is inconsistent in finding this effect. The purpose of this article is to provide scholars
with a methodology for assessing the likely effects of turnout on an election outcome using simulations based on
survey data. By varying simulated turnout rates for five U.S. elections from 1960 to 2000, we observe that
Democratic advantages from higher turnout (and Republican advantages from lower turnout) have steadily ebbed since
1960, corresponding to the erosion of class cleavages in U.S. elections.