FPG Says: Midterm Elections – November 2018
We polled a random, national sample of 1,100 males and females, ages 18 plus, regarding the upcoming midterm elections in November, 2018. “Falling right in the middle of the four-year term of the President of the United States, the midterm elections are often viewed as the peoples’ opportunity to express their satisfaction or frustration with the president’s performance” (Longley).
For analysis and reporting purposes, age data has been divided into the following groups: age 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64 and 65+.
Respondents were first asked to tell us which political party they feel better represents their own personal values. The difference in representation between the two major parties, Republican and Democrat, is evenly split, 43.9% Republican, and 42.9% Democratic. Close to 5% of respondents report that both the Republican and Democratic Parties equally represent their own personal values, while 6.8% say that neither party represents their own personal values.
Reviewed by age group, the gap between the representations of the two major parties, Republican and Democratic, is the largest within the 18-24 age group – 62.8% Republican and 24.4% Democrat – a 38.4% variance. That gap is halved with the 25-34 age group, at 35.8% Republican and 54.2% Democrat – an 18.4% variance. The gap narrows significantly with those ages 35+, with no more than a 4.2% variance between either of those parties within any age group.
Political party support across and within gender is evenly distributed, as seen below. Less than 2% more females are Republicans (23.3%) vs. Democrats (21.8%). Among males, there is only a 0.6% difference between Republicans (20.6%) and Democrats (21.2%). The largest variance within all of the data is between Republican males (20.6%) and Republican females (23.3%), at 2.7%.
The majority of respondents (79.5%) report they usually vote in midterm elections. Approximately 11% of respondents say they only vote if there is an issue on the ballot that they care about and/or is important to them. 9% say they do not usually vote in midterm elections.
The data shows that Democrats (83.5%) are more likely to vote in midterm elections than Republicans (77.3%). Republicans (13.7%) are more likely than Democrats (8%) to only vote if there is an important issue on the ballot. Roughly 8% from each party say they do not usually vote in midterm elections.
The likelihood of voting in midterm elections increases with age. Over 90% of ages 65+ usually vote in midterm elections. The most unlikely age group is 18-24; this is also the age group that is most likely to vote only if there is an issue on the ballot that they care about and/or that is important to them.
Males (85.6%) are more likely to turn out for midterm voting than females (74%). Females (14.9%) are twice as likely as males (7.3) to only vote if there is an issue on the ballot they care about and/or that is important to them.
We then asked respondents about their likelihood to vote in this upcoming midterm elections. This data is similar to the data for general midterm voting habits. However, compared to the nearly 80% of respondents that usually vote in midterm elections, just over 90% of respondents say they will probably (18.2%) or definitely (72%) vote in the November 2018 midterm elections. Based on this information, it is possible that the voter turnout in these midterm elections may be greater than in the past. The remaining 10% say they probably will not vote, definitely will not vote, or have no opinion about voting in the upcoming midterm elections.
The earlier data shows that Democrats are more likely to vote in midterm elections than Republicans, and when it comes to the upcoming midterm elections, this does not change. This midterm, 81.7% of Democrats and 65.7% of Republicans say they will vote.
Similar to the general midterm voting data, it appears that males (80.9%) are more likely to definitely vote in the upcoming midterms than women (63.8%). Females (23.9%) are almost twice as likely as males (12%) to say that they will probably vote. Females (0.83%) are more than twice as likely as males (0.36%) to say that they will definitely not vote.
The age data for likeliness to vote in the upcoming midterm elections also similarly reflects the age data for general midterm election voting; it steadily increases with age. Once again, the age group most unlikely to vote in the November 2018 midterm elections is 18-24. Most likely to vote are ages 65+ (96.5%).
Respondents were asked whether or not they are inclined to re-elect their representative in Congress in the upcoming midterms or seek out another candidate. At the time of the survey, many respondents were unclear on their decision, telling us that it “depends” (37.7%) or that they had not yet formed an opinion (6.8%). Over half of respondents (55.5%) are confident that they are going to either re-elect their representative in Congress (29.1%) or seek out another candidate (26.4%).
Republicans (45.6%) are more unsure or have no opinion, while Democrats (36.9%) are more likely to re-elect. Republicans (26.4%) and Democrats (25.6%) are similar in opinion to seeking out another candidate.
Male voters are more decided on their vote than female voters. More than 63% of males plan to either re-elect (32.6%) or seek out another candidate (30.8%), compared to 48% of females that plan to either re-elect (25.9%) or seek out another candidate (22.4%). Females (51.8%) are more likely than males (36.6%) to still be unsure or have no opinion on the matter.
Ages 55-64 are most likely to say it “depends” when asked whether or not they will re-elect their representative in Congress or seek out another candidate. Ages 65+ are most likely to re-elect, and ages 25-34 are most likely to seek out another candidate.
We asked respondents if their 2018 midterm election vote will be to:
- Show (support for) the current administration policies
- Show (opposition to) current administration policies or
- If the current administration will not be part of the decision
Most respondents (42.3%) say their reason for voting in the midterm elections is to show opposition to current administration policies. Slightly over 30% will be voting to show support for current administration policies. Many respondents (16.2%) told us the current administration is not a factor in voting, and 11.3% have no opinion.
Per the data, most Democrats’ (73.7%) reason for voting is to show opposition to current administration policies, and most Republicans’ (58.3%) reason for voting is to support current administration policies. Approximately 19% of Republicans and 10% of Democrats say that current administration policies are not a factor in their reason for voting in the 2018 midterms. Almost 11% of Republican voters will be voting in opposition of the current administration policies; 7.5% of Democrats will be voting in support of the current administration policies.
The reason for voting in the upcoming midterm elections does not vary much between males and females. Males (32% and 43.4%, respectively) are only slightly more likely than females (28.6% and 41.2%, respectively) to vote in support of and in opposition to the current administration policies. However, females (15%) are more than twice as likely as males (7.3%) to have no opinion.
Ages 65+ (51%) are most likely to vote in opposition to current administration policies, although opposition to current administration policies is the predominant reason for voting across all age groups. Ages 25-34 and 35-44 are more likely than other age groups to vote in support of current administration policies (34.2% of respondents in each age group). Voters ages 55-64 (26%) report more than other age groups that current administration policies are not a factor in their reason for voting in midterm elections.
When we asked respondents whether or not they would be willing to vote outside of their chosen political party in the midterm elections, 37.5% say they would. A comparable 36% said it “depends”. One quarter (24.9%) of respondents stand firmly with their chosen party.
More Republicans (37.5%) than Democrats (28.4%) are willing to vote outside of their party. More Democrats (40.8%) than Republicans (34.1%) say voting outside of their party “depends”. Only slightly more Democrats (29.4%) are unwilling to vote outside of their party than Republicans (27%).
Age 55-64 are least likely to vote outside of their party (27.9%). Most likely to vote outside of their party are 35-44 year olds (39.3%). The difference between “yes” and “depends” responses within each age group differs slightly, with the greatest variance being among those ages 65+, at 5.3%, and the smallest variance being among those ages 55-64, at 0.4%.
Gender differences for willingness to vote outside of one’s party are slim. More males (39.5%) than females (35.6%) are willing to vote outside of their party. More females (37.9%) than males (34%) say it “depends.”
In the November 2018 midterm elections, “…Democrats need only 24 seats to flip the House and two to take the Senate” (Klein). We presented the following scenario and follow-up question to respondents:
Suppose the Democrats win control of Congress; do you think the country would be better off, worse off, or would it not make a difference?
The slight majority of respondents (42.9%) say the country would be better off with Democrats in control of Congress, while 37.5% say the country would be worse off. Nearly 16% of respondents say that it will make no difference, and 3.6% do not have an opinion.
Naturally, those that affiliate with the Republican Party (78%) are far more likely to feel that the country would be worse off with Democrats controlling the House. Likewise, Democrats (87.8%) feel that our country would be better off with their own leaders controlling the House. Republicans (15.3%), compared to Democrats (8.3%), are more likely to feel that Democrats in control of the House would make no difference. Only 1.2% of Democrats feel that a Democratic House majority would make our country worse off, while 3.6% of Republicans feel that the country would be better off with a Democratic House majority.
Nearly half of respondents ages 18-24 (47.7%) told us the country would be worse off with Democrats in control of the House. The next age group, ages 25-34, is more likely than any other age group to believe that the country would be better off with Democrats winning the House. Ages 35-44 are most likely to think that Democrats winning the House would make no difference to our country.
More males (45.3%) than females (40.7%) think Democrats winning the House would better our country. Females (5.2%) were more likely than males (1.8%) to have no opinion.
Longley, Robert. “The U.S. Midterm Elections and Their Importance.” ThoughtCo, Mar. 7, 2018, thoughtco.com/about-the-us-midterm-elections-3322077.
Klein, Robert E. “Everything You Need to Know about the 2018 Midterm Elections.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 1 Dec. 2017, www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/everything-you-need-know-about-2018-midterm-elections-n832226.
Written by Ann Ali