Republicans have been anticipating November and dreaming of defeating the Democrats in 2022’s midterm elections. This will be the first opportunity for Americans to combat the highly irregular, controversial 2020 election and its devastating effects on the nation and the world. Republicans are tempering their optimism after seeing near-certain victory miraculously disappear one too many times. Every sign that the country is on the right track for great political reform is welcomed. We got a big, flashing, great one on Tuesday.
John Couvillon is the founder of MC Analytics & Polling. He analyzed the voter turnout of the ten states which have held primaries in 2022 and compared it with 2018 (the last midterm election in which Democrats gained back control of Congress), and found large shifts in Republican turnout in all except one.
What started in Texas with a 60% Republican electorate, which grew to 65% in March 2018, has been almost unaffected by the nine other primaries that were held between May 3rd and last night. In the 10 state contests that were analyzed, the Republican share of the electorate has increased from 53 to 61%. However, overall turnout has increased 15% (a 32% rise in Republican primary turnout and a 3% decline in Democratic turnout).
PARTISAN PRIMARY TURNOUT, 2022 v 2018
Now we have a sample of 10 states.
Overall turnout up 21% (and 2018 was a high turnout year); Dem turnout +3%, Rep turnout +38%
The Republican % of the vote went from 53 to 60% of the electorate.
— John Couvillon (@WinWithJMC) May 18, 2022
We can see that Oregon was the only state to experience a decline (one whole percentage point) in Republican participation — 44% in 2018 compared to 43% this 2018. However, Oregon did not elect any Republicans to the national office anytime soon.
It’s encouraging to see that Republicans in Pennsylvania, where Joe Biden is alleged to have won in 2020, increased from 45% to 54% in the 2018 midterms to 54% in 2022. This is a 9-point swing. RIP, Pennsylvania Democrats.
Couvillon also analyzed seven other states — Texas, Indiana and Ohio, West Virginia. North Carolina, North Carolina, Idaho, and Kentucky — which Trump won in 2020. It’s no surprise that Republicans are overrepresented there. It’s still encouraging to see these states becoming redder.
Nearly three-quarters (73%) were Republican in Nebraska, where Trump won four of the five electoral votes and Biden one.
Couvillon’s report explains how midterms are less popular than presidential elections. This makes partisan enthusiasm a more important indicator of midterm year turnout. JMC does not compare enthusiasm and turnout in a state when both parties are running for statewide office. This is the history of midterm analyses from 2010:
JMC examined midterm data from 37 states between 2010-2018 and found that Republicans received 55% of the primary vote in both 2010 and 2014. Both were GOP landslide years. The 2018 Democratic landslide was marked by an 18-point swing towards a 54% Democratic primary electorate. This means that the partisan primary vote has some predictive value.
Current trends show that Republicans have 60% of the primary vote, five points more than they were in 2010 and 2014. Both years were GOP landslide years. Although no one wants to pop the cork too soon it is safe to put the champagne on ice and clean out the flutes.