Public Choice

, Volume 79, Issue 1, pp 187–209

Does rain help the Republicans? Theory and evidence on turnout and the vote

  • Steve Knack

DOI: 10.1007/BF01047926

Cite this article as:
Knack, S. Public Choice (1994) 79: 187. doi:10.1007/BF01047926


Conventional political wisdom holds that inclement weather on election day reduces turnout, and helps elect Republican candidates. Analysis of National Climatic Data Center weather records and National Election Studies (NES) survey data for 1984, 1986, and 1988 refutes the latter hypothesis: interaction variables based on various measures of partisanship and election-day rainfall show no evidence of partisan differences in the turnout-deterring impact of inclement weather. Furthermore, rainfall does not significantly reduce the probability of voting for the NES samples as a whole, but only among those respondents scoring low on the standard NES civic duty indicator.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steve Knack
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Public AffairsAmerican UniversityWashington DC