In the last US elections, the voting turnout was approximately 57.5% (Bipartisan Research Center). Over the last few decades, it has been shifting between 50 and 60 percent. This is in stark contrast with various European countries, where the voting turnout rate is significantly higher - 85% and up in some countries (e.g. Denmark, Germany, Sweden)
A major difference between the US and many of these countries is the two party system currently present in the United States. This makes me wonder: does the two party system influence voting turnout? Does it provide for poor engagement among the masses?
Or is it the other way around? Does poor engagement lead to less incentive to start broader political movement?
Has there been any research on the subject?
I'd guess that with only two parties, people in the center of the spectrum might not feel as strongly drawn to either side, especially in the suburban middle class. In a system with multiple parties, the chance of there being a party that more accurately represents ones ideals is simply larger.