Voter turnout for the 2018 midterm election might be the highest in more than 50 years a professor at the University of Florida predicted. Michael McDonald, a professor who studies turnout and has maintained a voter turnout database, thinks that 45 to 50 percent of eligible voters will make it to the polls on Nov. 6.
If McDonald’s prediction proves true, it will be the highest turnout for a midterm since 1970 with 47 percent voter turnout, or 1966 with a record 49 percent turnout in a midterm election.
“It’s probably going to be a turnout rate that most people have never experienced in their lives for a midterm election,” McDonald, said.
McDonald’s prediction is based on “four indicators,” NPR reported: record special election turnout, high primary turnout, a high degree of self-reported interest in the election, high levels of early voting.
Many recent polls are in line with McDonald’s prediction. According to a poll conducted by SurveyMonkey, TheSkimm, and Vanity Fair’s The Hive in October, 62 percent of Americans said the 2018 midterm elections are “more important than other midterms in their lifetime,” Fortune reported. Two-thirds of those polled said that they were “absolutely certain to vote.”
While younger Americans are known to vote less than any other voting group, a poll conducted by NBC News and GenForward showed that 55 percent of millennials plan to vote in the upcoming midterm election.
Aside from Americans determined to get out and vote, last month a record number of Americans registered to vote on national voter registration day. Nonprofit vote confirmed more than 800,000 people registered to vote compared to just 154,500 in 2014.
While all of this is just a prediction of what might happen on Nov. 6, the upcoming 2018 midterm elections could be a changing point for American politics – it will determine party control in Congress and could change the trajectory of Donald Trump’s presidency.
“Donald Trump is part of the story of what’s going on,” McDonald said. “The policies that the Republicans have enacted are also part of that story.”