Now that we have a model allowing us to forecast turnout for upcoming U.S. elections (link), what does our data tell us about the 2016 contest? In our way-too-early projection, the Reuters/Ipsos poll data for May 2015 indicates that 2016 turnout will be about 50% of the voting age population. With almost 18 months until election day, this estimate is almost certain to change as the electorate gets more (or less!) engaged in the election. However, by having this first turnout estimates, we will be able to trace the ebbs and flows of enthusiasm throughout election season.
Relative to historic trends, 50% VAP turnout would be the lowest turnout level since the 2000 election. This is undoubtedly going to go up as we near the election.