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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Turnout in 2018

In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race.   The update  -- just published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.

Jordan Misra at the Census Bureau:
The November 2018 election is widely recognized for its high voter turnout. Census Bureau data released today show who is behind the historic 11 percentage point increase from the last midterm election in 2014.
Voter turnout went up among all voting age and major racial and ethnic groups. Fifty-three percent of the citizen voting-age population voted in 2018, the highest midterm turnout in four decades, while the 2014 election had the lowest.
Among 18- to 29-year-olds, voter turnout went from 20 percent in 2014 to 36 percent in 2018, the largest percentage point increase for any age group — a 79 percent jump.
Data from the Current Population Survey’s Voting and Registration Supplement out today provide insight into the characteristics of those that cast their ballots in this record-breaking midterm election
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Who is Behind the Historic Increase?
Voter turnout went up more in some groups than others from 2014 to 2018:

  • Among 18- to 29-year-olds, voter turnout went from 20 percent in 2014 to 36 percent in 2018, the largest percentage point increase for any age group — a 79 percent jump.
  • Among men and women, voter turnout increased by 11 and 12 percentage points respectively.
  • Voter turnout increased among non-Hispanic Asians by 13 percentage points, a 49 percent increase.
  • Among Hispanics, voter turnout increased by 13 percentage points, a 50 percent increase in Hispanic voter turnout.
  • Non-Hispanic black voter turnout increased by 11 percentage points.
  • Those with higher levels of education had higher levels of voter turnout in 2018.  Those with less than a high school education had the smallest increase in voter turnout (5 percentage points). Those with a high school diploma or equivalent had the second-lowest increase (8 percentage points).
  • Voting by native-born and naturalized citizens both increased by 12 percentage points. This increase is not significantly different between native-born and naturalized citizens.
  • Unlike the 2014 midterm election, voter turnout among those living in nonmetropolitan areas (up 8 points) was lower than for those living in metropolitan areas (up 12 points).
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