The Demographics of Midterms 2014
Civics: It is just as important, if not more so, to vote in midterm elections as it is in presidential elections. The reason is because we are electing the people who can do or block legislation we want. If you don’t think the President is doing enough or is doing too much, here’s your chance.
Republican voter turnout during midterm elections is generally higher than Democratic voter turnout, and it is no different this year. While women, Latinos, blacks, Asians, and young people all overwhelmingly support Democrats, their support won’t matter much if they don’t go to the polls on Election Day. The demographics of the country are trending more towards these groups, but they do not exercise them for some reason during midterms.
According to a battleground state survey, the gender gap, particularly single women, favors Democrats. Aside from the economy, Democrats have to succeed in making women’s issues a top reason voters should choose candidates from their party.
Pivotal races stay close as the president’s approval rating is up slightly from July, and the intensity of opposition to the president is down. Republicans are also underperforming among seniors.
For Republicans, the economy, foreign policy and health care rank as the top three concerns voters have when preparing to go to the polls. The health care law is a motivating factor that has helped Democrats resulting in a narrowing of the enthusiasm gap.
Immigration and the Latino Vote
Immigration is an issue that is not normally highlighted during midterms. DREAMers, young Latinos whose parents brought them to the U.S. through no fault of their own, and who have benefitted from the President’s Delayed Action on Childhood Arrivals (or DACA) have supporters committed to comprehensive immigration legislation that Democrats are trying desperately to get out to vote in these midterms.
The turnout percentage for Latinos in 2012 was only 48 percent. This means legislation (including immigration) benefitting Latinos could be ignored for not enough Latinos would come out to vote in the midterms to make it matter. In fact, there are enough Latinos eligible to vote in enough swing districts that if all of them cast a ballot, the House of Representatives could flip to the Democrats.
Economy and Government Most Important
“When all voters’ attitudes are combined, the highest levels of importance are assigned to the economy and jobs, the way in which the federal government is working, the Islamic militant situation, and equal pay for women. The least important issues to voters are climate change and abortion and access to contraception, which appear near the bottom of the list for both political groups — although on absolute terms each are rated as much more important by Democrats than by Republicans.”
If Democrats do not get blacks, Latinos, Asians, women and young people to turnout more than they usually do during midterms, then there will be both a Republican House and Senate. This will give Republicans the opportunity to prove their case for the White House in 2016.