Politics

Election 2018 Preview

election 2018 government congressIn the June issue of AEI’s Political Report, we look at early 2018 polls ahead of this year’s congressional elections and how they relate to polls in previous midterms. We also use exit polls to see how key groups voted in past off-year elections.

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  • Donald Trump: How big a factor? In early 2018 Pew Research Center and CBS News surveys, pluralities of registered voters said they don’t think of their vote for Congress as being about Trump. Of the remainder, more said their vote will be a vote against Trump than a vote for him. In exit polls from recent off-year elections, more people have said their vote expressed support or opposition to a president than gave those responses in the past.
  • Party control and incumbency: Around 6 in 10 say that the issue of which party controls Congress will be a factor in their vote this year (Pew). As in 2010 and 2014, registered voters’ views of their own representative are noticeably more positive than their views of most members of Congress: 51 percent in April said the representative in their district deserves reelection; 26 percent said most members of Congress do.
  • Enthusiasm and the generic ballot: Recent polls conflict on whether Democrats are more enthusiastic than Republicans about voting this fall. Democrats’ generic ballot lead is now smaller than it was at the start of 2018 in polling averages tracked by FiveThirtyEight, Huffington Post, and Real Clear Politics. 

Stability and change in voting and party identification among key groups:

  • Exit polls: Voting patterns for some groups have remained stable in recent off-year elections. Men usually vote for Republican candidates; women lean to Democratic ones. Married voters vote for Republicans; unmarried voters cast their ballots for Democrats. Whites vote for Republican candidates; blacks, Hispanics, and Asians vote for Democrats. There has been more change among other groups, including voters with a high school degree, who have cast ballots for Republicans in recent contests, while those with postgraduate degrees look like reliably Democratic voters. 
  • Party identification trends: Pew’s surveys show women have become somewhat more Democratic in recent years, while men have retained a preference for the GOP. Registered voters with a high school degree or less have moved in the GOP’s direction, while postgraduates have become more Democratic. The generational gap has grown, with millennials leaning more Democratic in recent years.

To view past issues of AEI’s Political Report, visit our archive here.

From - AEI.org - by Karlyn Bowman and Eleanor O'Neil

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