Voter turnout past and present - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Voter turnout past and present

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The 2016 presidential election drew a lot attention, sparking big turnouts at voting polls.
That election interest carried over to increased voter turnout for last night's primary.
Dr. Paul Pope, Political Science Professor at MSUB, says since the 2016 presidential election, there has been a level of interest in politics overall, in the u.s. and Montana that has maintained.

He says unlike any other country America has had a high level of interest in politics going back to Kennedy versus Nixon.  This has only evolved with technology now in the 21st century and interest in president trump's tweets.

"The fact that this is in the media every single day, every single news cycle is, you know politics and controversy, " Dr. Pope says.  "I think we're at a very heightened state of interest right now."

He says politics can change by the hour, generating intrigue.

"What did somebody do, what did somebody get indicted for, what did this politician say about that politician, what did this news anchor say about that politician--we're going to see a lot of that."

This controversy includes various types of scandals...

"Sexual assaults, racist language, sexist language, generally bigoted language, white nationalism, white supremacy, these are all going to have an impact on who and how people vote," Dr. Pope says.

Dr. Pope says it's on the parties to keep that engagement.  He says if the democratic get close to getting the majority of the house, he can see the party putting their foot on the gas.


Dr. Pope says he sees this increased voting and interest in politics only growing as we head into the 2020 presidential election.