Might we hit the highest turnout in a century in 2020?

Well, here’s one way you could say Trump is good for democracy, assuming you think high voter participation is a sign of a healthy democracy (and assuming that you overlook, for the moment, the fact that U.S. turnout kinda sucks compared to many other democracies).

Nathan Gonzales of “Inside Elections,” citing data from the United States Elections Project, says that the final reckoning of turnout in the recent midterms “was nearly 50 percent of the voting-eligible population, the highest for a midterm in more than a century.”

Gonzales says that “President Donald Trump deserves virtually all of the credit for that mark. Voters turned out en masse to oppose him by voting for Democrats, while others showed up to support his GOP allies.”

One the one hand, we still haven’t settled the last bit of the 2018 election (referring to the possible, even likely, redo of the corruption-plagued race in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District) so I would encourage the soothsayers to hold off making assumptions about 2020.

On the other hand, if Trump is on the ballot, I don’t really doubt turnout will be high. Here’s how Gonzales backs up his suggestion that we could hit the highest turnout in over a century in 2020:

Over the last century, the average difference in turnout between a midterm and a subsequent presidential election has been 16 points. That would pin 2020 turnout at about 66 percent, setting a new record. The largest difference was 23.4 points, from the 2014 midterm to the 2016 presidential. A similar dynamic would put 2020 turnout at a considerable 73 percent.

Here is Gonzales’ article.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 12/14/2018 - 09:18 am.

    Let’s hope!

  2. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 12/14/2018 - 09:49 am.

    If “Individual 1” is still in office he will drive voter turnout. If “Elf on the Shelf” Pence is the candidate he too will drive voter turnout.

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