Even With Overwhelming Midterm Voter Turnout, Your Vote Is Critical

Tuesday is finally Election Day†– but unlike midterms past, the vast majority of votes may have already been cast days or even weeks ago. Early voting numbers are historically high this election cycle, outpacing even presidential election participation in many places in the United States.

According to CBS News, ballots cast in at least half of the states in the nation are seeing more voters prior to Election Day than they did in the 2014 midterms. That outpouring of voter participation means that by the time Tuesday’s votes are added in, they could easily surpass the 50 percent of voter response that often is seen in presidential years.


University of Florida associate professor Michael McDonald, who oversees the Election Project, told “Red & Blue” on CBSN Thursday that the early vote totals could indicate 45 to 50 percent turnout by eligible voters on election day. “In the last three decades, we’ve had about 40 percent of those eligible to vote participating in midterm elections. If we get in the upper end of that range, if we can beat the 1966 49-percent turnout rate, you’d have to go all the way back to 1914 to get a turnout rate above 50 percent,” McDonald said.

Voters are pouring into the early voting centers and mailing in absentee ballots in a number of key states that the Democrats need in order to win control of Congress†– and†leaving progressives hopeful that the “blue wave” they organized for may become a reality. It’s especially sweeping red states like Arizona, where Republicans have traditionally held a stranglehold on congressional and local seats.

The†Arizona Republic†reports:

Early ballot returns released Friday†show Democrats are on track to narrow the†voter-participation gap with Republicans†to its lowest level in any midterm election in recent†history. That surge in Democratic participation could help the party flip close races†or win contests for the U.S. Senate, secretary of state and superintendent of public instruction.

Democrats had significantly lagged Republicans when early ballot returns started coming in three weeks ago, leading some to speculate that the blue wave had crested. But that changed over the past week as Democrats shaved the GOP’s early-vote advantage to less than 8 percentage points. Republicans typically have a 12 percentage-point turnout edge in midterm elections.

Democratic support could help turn retiring Republican Senator Jeff Flake’s seat blue, but that isn’t the only area where a flip could happen thanks to early vote surge.

In Georgia, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is still holding her own against Republican Brian Kemp, despite his decision to toss hundreds of thousands of African American voters off the polls in an obvious attempt to suppress the vote. The manipulation of voter rolls may have actually encouraged turnout that†could favor Abrams, as†early voting surpassed†all 2014 midterm votes even before Election Day arrived.

Part of the reason for increased turnout in Georgia has been the active campaign to engage younger voters — one that has been working in Texas, too. In both states, the 18-30 and 30-50 voter pools have increased, and the 65 and over pool has gone down.


If these early voting numbers actually do turn out to be a harbinger of increased turnout among younger voters, that could be great news for Democrats.†According to a Harvard Institute of Politics poll released earlier this week, voters under 30 are much more likely to say they’ll vote now than they were in 2014, and they are a deeply Democratic-leaning group. In most midterm election years, turnout among younger voters is meager in comparison to older voters. According to the Census bureau, just 17% of citizens under age 25 voted in 2014, compared with 59% of seniors

Still, other pundits warn readers not to read anything into these early voting numbers.

As voting analyst Paul Gronke wrote for†Slate:

As attractive as it may be to try to use early voting results as an indicator of the final results, there are vast areas of uncertainty that make them, at best, an indicator that needs detailed analysis and context, the kind that some campaigns have but to which most observers arenít privy…Itís hard to sort the geniuses from the fools in this hyperpoliticized environment. My advice is pretty simple: Donít obsess over the early vote.

In other words, don’t get too confident in the early voter turnout — no matter how positive it looks for progressives. There’s only one sure way to get your candidate into their seat, and that is to vote. Be sure you do your part.

Photo credit: Brian Kusler/Flickr


Peggy B
Peggy B4 months ago

David F..... Democratic Socialism does not deter capitalism at all. It just guarantees health, education, paid parental leave for all citizens above what we have now. Most countries with that style of government do not provide benefits or housing, except to invalid people, without their giving something back. ie, working on community-based jobs like picking up litter, working in a government-run preschool or creche so mothers can work and so forth. It's ignorance and/or listening to misrepresentative propaganda that confuses Socialist Communism and Democrat Socialism. We already have the later, just not to the extent that the countries that the citizens enjoy a better quality of life than we have. They are all capitalist countries with the exception they do not allow monopolies so that even the average citizen can compete in the business world. The US had that at one time long ago.......

Susanne R
Susanne R4 months ago

David F. - Why are you always providing links to YouTube? I provided a disclaimer from their Terms of Service, and it's not encouraging. I'll provide it again for your convenience:

"You understand that when using the Service, you will be exposed to Content from a variety of sources, and that YouTube is not responsible for the accuracy, usefulness, safety, or intellectual property rights of or relating to such Content. You further understand and acknowledge that you may be exposed to Content that is inaccurate, offensive, indecent, or objectionable, and you agree to waive, and hereby do waive, any legal or equitable rights or remedies you have or may have against YouTube with respect thereto, and, to the extent permitted by applicable law, agree to indemnify and hold harmless YouTube, its owners, operators, affiliates, licensors, and licensees to the fullest extent allowed by law regarding all matters related to your use of the Service."

Scroll down to: "5 D. Your Use of Content"

Mia B
Mia B4 months ago

Thank you

David F
David F4 months ago

Susanne R, in addition to this weeks big market gains, today the Dow was up 545, NASDAQ up 194, everything about 2% plus just today.
Your wealth is not my business, however you are very financially blessed that President Trump is president, not Hillary.

You vote assisted in getting Maxine Waters into a position where she would be the chair of U.S. House Committee on Financial Services. That woman is certifiably insane, she hates capitalism and capitalist. Even once threatened she could nationalize the US oil industry. Now she says she's going to punish the mortgage industry and banks for what she claims they did wrong. Our future is threatened.


Secure investments usually lag the market, I would estimate your husband made at least $15,000 just today. I'm happy for you.

You should be thankful we have a real leader running this country. And no, I am not a financial adviser.

Susanne R
Susanne R4 months ago

David F. - I'm not going to say that you're right or wrong in your unsolicited assessment because it's none of your business, as you well know. In hindsight, I realize that I shouldn't have mentioned the loss, but I was angry and trying to make a point about how you were making a last-ditch attempt to influence the vote of people with healthy "401k's or IRA's" by giving trump all the credit. In response to your question: Yes, believe it or not, there are people who care more about their country than their own personal interests.

If you're a personal financial advisor, you need to be reminded that "there are only a handful of industries that are more personal or emotional than the financial services industry." Loose lips lose clients.

Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld4 months ago

No too surprising, both parties are claiming victory due to their gains in opposing chambers. All in all, the Democrats should be more pleased at winning the House. Although, the results are less than many had hoped for.

Janis K
Janis K4 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E4 months ago

david f's response is EXACTLY as expected. I am "eagerly" awaiting trump's press conference to see if HIS talking points are JUST like david's.
All about themselves and NOT about the US OR what trump is doing to the "world"

hELEN hEARFIELD4 months ago


Danuta W
Danuta W4 months ago

Thanks for posting