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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Materials on the 2018 Midterms

In Defying the Odds, we discuss congressional elections as well as the presidential race

Slides from John Sides

Op-Ed by Stanley Greenberg

Mark Muro and Jacob Whiton at Brookings:
Looking at congressional districts, the analysis shows that the governing majority of 228 congressional districts (as of this post’s publish date) won by the Democrats last week encompasses fully 60.9 percent of the nation’s economic activity as measured by total economic output in 2016. Democratic districts are more productive, with a strong orientation to the advanced industries that inordinately determine prosperity. Notably, voters in these districts possess bachelor’s degrees at relatively high levels and work disproportionately in digital industries like software publishing and computer systems design.
By contrast, the 200 seats (as of this post’s publish date) captured by Republicans represent a much different swath of the economy. While almost as numerous as Democratic holdings, these seats represent just 37.6 percent of the nation’s output, reflecting a productivity level of just $106,832 per worker, and appear much more oriented to lower-output industries as well as non-advanced manufacturing (e.g., apparel, food, paper). Relatively fewer adults in these districts possess a bachelor’s degrees and fewer work in digital services.
Table 1


 Niall McCarthy at Statista:
After a steady volume of early votes, predictions of a high turnout at the midterms have turned out to be accurate. Last week, the U.S. Elections Project published preliminary numbers and 49.2 percent of voters cast their ballots - that's nearly 116 million people. That marks the highest midterm turnout since 1914 when it hit 50.4 percent and women still didn't have the right to vote.

25 states had a turnout or 50 percent or higher with six exceeding 60 percent: Colorado (62.2 percent), Minnesota (64.3 percent), Montana (62.1 percent), Oregon (61.3 percent) and Wisconsin (61.2 percent). Down through the years, the midterms have always had a weaker turnout than the presidential election and that trend remains unchanged this year (more or less). The presidential elections usually see a turnout of about 60 percent and this year's midterms came closest to matching Bill Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign when turnout was 51.7 percent.
Infographic: Highest Midterm Voter Turnout In Over A Century  | Statista