Democrats Are More Enthusiastic Than Republicans For the First Time Since 2006

Here are some findings from a couple of recent Pew surveys. First, a pair of questions related to voter enthusiasm in midterm elections:

The left-hand chart shows that, starting in 2006, midterm votes became much more a vote against the sitting president than anything else. I wonder if that’s entirely a good thing? In any case, anti-Trump sentiment is high this year, but it’s worth noting that it’s still not quite as intense as anti-Bush sentiment was in 2006. Of course, by then Bush had had six years for us to get sick of him.

The right-hand chart shows voter enthusiasm. Democrats usually have trouble turning out the vote for midterm elections, but this year enthusiasm is sky-high—far higher than it was even in the wave election of 2006. It’s even as high as Republican enthusiasm in the tea-party wave of 2010. If this keeps up, it’s bad news for Republicans.

So who’s responsible for this enthusiasm? Young women:

Every other demographic group has changed hardly at all, but millennial women have increased their identification with Democrats by 15 points in just a few years. What’s interesting is that this started in 2015, so it’s probably not especially related to either Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders. But it might be! I’d have to get hold of the individual surveys throughout 2015 to know for sure.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest