Do More People Vote in Presidential Elections than Watch the Super Bowl?

More people in the United States watched the Super Bowl in 2008 than voted in the U.S. presidential election that year. About 148.3 million people in the U.S. watched at least some of Super Bowl XLII, and 133 million people voted in the election later that year. About 57 percent of people who were legally of the age to vote actually voted in the 2008 election, and 43 percent of U.S. households that had televisions watched the Super Bowl that year.

More facts about the Super Bowl and presidential elections:

  • The number of people in the U.S. who watched the 2008 Super Bowl was a record, but the record has been broken by each Super Bowl since then. About 151.6 million people in the U.S. watched at least part of the Super Bowl in 2009, 153.4 million in 2010 and 162.9 million in 2011.

  • The 2008 election had a relatively low turnout rate in terms of the voting age population, but it wasn't the lowest turnout in recent history. The lowest voter turnout according to VAP since 1948 was the 2000 election, when George W. Bush was elected. Only about 51 percent of the VAP voted in that election.

  • Twenty-one of the top 45 network prime time broadcasts in U.S. television history have been Super Bowls. The top 20 in terms of total viewers are all Super Bowls.

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