Former Vice President Al Gore might have reached the Oval Office if Florida’s weather had been just a bit warmer on Election Day in 2000, according to a study published this week.Nearly six decades of data show voter turnout slightly rose on warmer election days, and voters were marginally more inclined to back the party already holding the White House when temperatures were higher, according to a paper published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology.Each degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming increased turnout by 0.14 percent, researchers found.Voters were also more likely to cast ballots for third parties or independent candidates, but the party currently in power stood the most to gain from the warm weather.In terms of electoral significance, those results rank pretty low, said Justin Holmes, a University of Northern Iowa political science professor who was not involved in the study. How many voters a campaign contacts one on one matters much more, he added.And because states have generally expanded early and absentee voting, the weather on Election Day might matter even less, he said.
Still, even tiny shifts can tip an election result, the researchers wrote.
“Based on our model, an increase of only 1 degree Celsius … may have made Al Gore the 43rd United States President instead of George W. Bush, as Gore would have won in Florida,” they said.
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Study: Global warming impacts how you vote! ‘Voter behavior influenced by hot weather’