Down South, it’s a political truism that candidates that depend on black support are in deep trouble if it rains on Election Day. The hard reality, learned over the course of years, is that a higher percentage of black voters stay home than white voters, particularly if it’s also a little cold. That’s just the way it is.
In Connecticut, it’s a little different. But I suspect that if our first-ever August 8 primary is a typical early August day, it’s going to deaden the turnout among the elderly. I’ll get to the reasons why in a just a second, but I’m sure that it will hurt Joe Lieberman if older voters stay home, if only because they’re the ones who are most used to pulling his lever on our old-fashioned, trusty machines. Younger voters are almost certainly more apt to back newcomer Ned Lamont because the fewer years you carry around, the more you prefer change to the same old, same old.
Anyway, anyone who spends time around the older members of our society know they are prone to stay inside when the temperatures start to soar. They loathe the sticky, hot weather even more than the rest of us, if that’s possible, because they’re worried about getting some kind of respiratory ailment that could lay them low, perhaps permanently. If it’s really hot — and it usually is — these folks ain’t voting. I’m sure of that.
Since the elderly vote at rates that far exceed their comparatively dissolute children and grandchildren, they’ll probably still make up a pretty decent number of voters. But they won’t dominate like they usually do.
And the fewer old folks vote, the more likely Lamont is to win.
You can count on it.
So watch the polls, yes, but also watch the thermometer, check the National Weather Service forecasts and peer out your window on the morning of Aug. 8. The weather will matter.