Republicans Have Higher Turnout Than Democrats In Early Voting For 2018 Midterms So Far
The 2018 midterm elections are less than two weeks away, and many people have already voted early.
An analysis by MSNBC this week showed that voter turnout among Republicans for the midterms has thus far been greater than Democrats’ numbers. In recent history, the trend has been the same: Democratic voters have tended to show up to the polls in lower numbers than their GOP counterparts, especially for presidential and midterm elections. This was true in the 2016 presidential election.
Early voting began on Tuesday in 29 states, including Hawaii, Utah and Louisiana. Chris Jansing of MSNBC explained Tuesday how many counties and states have already set records for early voting this year. Jansing mentioned Harris County in Texas, which nearly doubled its previous record for early voting after voter turnout was reportedly up 213 percent, and several other counties and states like North Carolina, Georgia and Minnesota that saw massive increases in early and absentee voter turnout compared to the 2016 election and previous elections.
Jansing added on Velshi & Ruhle that although President Donald Trump visiting and holding rallies in certain towns and cities certainly had an effect on early voting, the numbers are up nearly “all over the place.”
Democrats have long been predicting the idea of a “Blue Wave:” that the party will regain control of both houses of Congress after Republicans won the majority in both the House and Senate in 2016. A huge level of discontent with the Trump administration and the decisions made by GOP lawmakers since Trump took office last year have spurred the hopes of a Blue Wave. However, many pundits have argued that this is not looking as much of a sure thing anymore, especially given the anger that has been swelling among conservative Americans as well. Trump has stirred up anxiety among his supporters by calling Democrats an “angry mob” and “socialists” at his rallies, as well as fear-mongering talk of “caravans” of illegal immigrants.
Trump tweeted the following on Friday morning:
Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this “Bomb” stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows – news not talking politics. Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2018
Some pundits have projected that Democrats may win the House of Representatives but remain the minority in the Senate.
According to the New York Times — which cited University of Florida political science professor Michael McDonald — almost 11 million Americans had voted early as of Thursday morning, something McDonald believes suggests voter turnout this year will match previous records.
“If these patterns persist, we could see a turnout rate at least equaling the turnout rate in 1966, which was 48 percent, and if we beat that then you have to go all the way back to 1914, when the turnout rate was 51 percent,” McDonald told the Times. “We could be looking at a turnout rate that virtually no one has ever experienced.”
In 2016, more than 22 million people voted early.