In the final days before Tuesday’s election, most of the focus will be on those likely to cast votes. But a sizable minority of adults choose not to vote or are unable to vote. By their absence, they also will affect the outcome. Nonvoters are numerous; in 2008, they constituted about 43% of the voting age population.
Nonvoters favor Barack Obama over Mitt Romney by a wide margin (59% to 24%). While most nonvoters (64%) have a favorable view of Obama, just half as many (32%) view Romney favorably.
By contrast, likely voters are evenly divided in Pew Research’s most recent national survey (47% Obama, 47% Romney). Nearly identical percentages of likely voters view Obama and Romney favorably (51% Obama, 52% Romney).
A plurality of nonvoters are independents (44%); 29% identify as Democrats and just 17% as Republicans. Likely voters include about the same percentages of Democrats (35%) as Republicans (34%); 27% of likely voters are independents.
Read the full report, Nonvoters: Who They Are, What They Think, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press website.