Re­port: SC one of least po­lit­i­cally en­gaged states

The Beaufort Gazette (Sunday) - - Front Page - BY BRIS­TOW MARCHANT bmarchant@thes­

While South Carolina saw a spike in new voter reg­is­tra­tions ahead of Wed­nes­day’s dead­line, that may not be enough to change its rank­ing as one of the na­tion’s least po­lit­i­cally en­gaged states.

The web­site Wal­let Hub ranked all 50 states and the Dis­trict of Columbia on voter par­tic­i­pa­tion and found South Carolina had some of the low­est rank­ings. The Pal­metto State fin­ished 40th in the stand­ings, re­leased Thurs­day.

Wal­let Hub looked at the per­cent­age of reg­is­tered vot­ers in each state be­fore the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, the per­cent­age of the elec­torate who voted in 2014 and 2016, the change in voter par­tic­i­pa­tion be­tween 2012 and 2016, and to­tal po­lit­i­cal con­tri­bu­tions per adult in a state’s pop­u­la­tion. In that last cat­e­gory, South Carolina, a poor state, fin­ished dead last.

The only states with over­all worse lev­els of po­lit­i­cal par­tic­i­pa­tion than South Carolina were Texas, South Dakota, Ken­tucky, New York, West Vir­ginia, Mis­sis­sippi, Ten­nessee, In­di­ana, Alabama, Hawaii and New Mex­ico.

Per­haps un­sur­pris­ingly, the na­tion’s cap­i­tal had the high­est rank­ing for po­lit­i­cal en­gage­ment. The Dis­trict of Columbia ranked on top in Wal­let Hub’s study with an over­all score of 79 out of a pos­si­ble 100. South Carolina’s score was 34.5

The most po­lit­i­cally en­gaged state was Maine, fol­lowed by Utah, Mary­land, Wash­ing­ton and Wy­oming.

South Carolina’s ed­u­ca­tion woes may play into its low lev­els of po­lit­i­cal en­gage­ment.

When ranked against other fac­tors, the same study charts South Carolina as the 37th least ed­u­cated state. West Vir­ginia ranked at the bot­tom, while D.C. came out on top again, fol­lowed by Mass­a­chu­setts.

South Carolina also trails in its state gross do­mes­tic prod­uct – or GDP – per res­i­dent, rank­ing 46th, Wal­let Hub found. Mis­sis­sippi is last, while D.C. again was first, fol­lowed by Mass­a­chu­setts.

Not all of South Carolina’s

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