The case for not sitting out this election, in two maps

Michelle Obama is right.

Michelle Obama gave one of the best speeches of the 2016 election last week—saying what so many of us were feeling about Donald Trump’s degrading treatment of women.

Toward the end of her remarks, she had another key point that shouldn’t get lost: Presidential elections are a lot closer than they seem, and a few votes in every precinct can be the difference between winning and losing states—and defeating Trump:

“Remember this: In 2012, women’s votes were the difference between Barack winning and losing in key swing states, including right here in New Hampshire. So for anyone who might be thinking that your one vote doesn’t really matter or that one person can’t really make a difference, consider this: Back in 2012, Barack won New Hampshire by about 40,000 votes, which sounds like a lot. But when you break that number down, the difference between winning and losing this state was only 66 votes per precinct. Just take that in. If 66 people in each precinct had gone the other way, Barack would have lost. …

"You could also help swing an entire precinct for Hillary’s opponent with a protest vote or by staying home out of frustration. Because here is the truth: Either Hillary Clinton or her opponent will be elected president this year, and if you vote for someone other than Hillary or if you don’t vote at all, then you are helping to elect her opponent."

The first lady, once again, is absolutely right.

We asked our analytics team to crunch the numbers on the 2012 election, and the results were illuminating. Take a look at these two maps and share them widely (and then make sure to vote early):

If this number of Barack Obama voters in each precinct had stayed home, Mitt Romney would have won these states:

If this number of Obama voters in each precinct had voted for Mitt Romney, the Republican ticket would have won these states:

More people than ever will vote in this election—don’t be the one sitting it out when the stakes are so high.

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