In more bad news for Democrats, rain is in the forecast for much of the country on Election Day.
Weather tracking websites, including weather.com and The Old Farmer's Almanac, are calling for rain in the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast regions, with chances for precipitation in other parts of the country as well.
According to Laurel Harbridge, a Northwestern University political science professor, GOP voters are not typically discouraged by rain. “Republicans are helped by bad weather ... it does harm Democratic prospects.”
Wendy Schiller, a political science professor at Brown University, echoed Harbridge. “Bad weather almost always hurts Democrats,” she said. “The traditional Democratic base tends to include lower-income people and the elderly. Both of those demographic groups have a hard time getting to the polls.”
Political experts say the rain will especially help Republicans this year because the conservative base is motivated to win back control of Congress.
“It will require an even bigger get-out-to-vote effort by the Democrats if the weather is bad,” said Schiller.
Robert Shapiro, former chairman of the department of political science at Columbia University, said, “Look for places where the election could be close and where the weather might discourage less-than-enthusiastic-voters.”
Shapiro believes the weather could have a “slight effect” on voter turnout. “If we’re talking about tornadoes it’s one thing. If we’re talking about rain it’s another,” he said.