The Democrats are enthused. They’re scoring local-level wins in Trump territory. They even won a congressional race in a district that won’t exist soon, but there is no denying it—the Left is energized for the 2018 midterms. Yet, a new Morning Consult poll showed that Republicans are just as motivated for this year’s election as the Democrats. The turnout for the local races were minuscule, so the news media should be mindful of that in their drooling coverage of a possible blue wave in November. Also, PA-18, where Democrat Conor Lamb beat Republican Rick Saccone most likely had a depressed GOP turnout. Former Rep. Tim Murphy resigned after his extramarital tryst sparked a pregnancy scare and he reportedly wanted his mistress to get an abortion. Texts of the conversations were made public last year. When that happens, you bet the local GOP will be demoralized. Second, given that the district is going to vanish, why would you turnout? And third, and probably most importantly, I don’t think a lot of people knew there was a special election going on this month. Regardless, the polls showed that close to 90 percent of GOP voters are motivated (via Washington Examiner):
The latest Morning Consult/Politico poll found that voters are getting revved up in advance of the midterm elections and that Republicans have the motivation edge. From the survey analysis:
Voter enthusiasm grows ahead of 2018 midterms: In this week's poll, 79% of voters said they are motivated to vote in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections, compared to 11% who said they are not motivated. In late December, 72% said they were motivated, and 13% said they were not motivated.
Motivation high across party lines: 89% of Republicans, 83% of Democrats, and 68% of Independents said they were motivated to vote in the upcoming midterms. In late December 80% of Republicans, 75% of Democrats, and 62% said the same.
Republicans attribute their advantage to the recently passed tax reform package that put more cash in their wallets.
Yet, the publication was apt to note something that both parties should take into account, which is that enthusiasm is good, but hardly a crystal ball on who will win. The GOP enthusiasm was high in 2012, Romney lost. In Georgia’s special election for the sixth congressional district formerly held by Tom Price, the Democratic enthusiasm was high, Republican Karen Handel beat Democrat Jon Ossoff. We have around eight months to go until the 2018 elections. That’s a lot of time. A lot can happen.
True of congressional specials, of which we don't have a very large data set. Also true that the most staggering Dem overperformances vs. '16 have come in extreme low-turnout state leg. specials (KY, MO, OK, etc.) and weren't matched in high turnout VA HoD races. https://t.co/Yt1n0BJuE1— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) March 22, 2018
There's not any correlation between turnout and how well Democrats are doing in special elections. They're overperforming in both high-turnout and low-turnout elections. https://t.co/zh38Q2t6ab pic.twitter.com/uKwuqBLXh3— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) March 21, 2018