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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Teixeira: Democratic Primary Turnout and the November Election

The following article by Ruy Teixeira, author of The Optimistic Leftist and other works of political analysis, is cross-posted from his blog:

Dante Chinni and Susan Bronson have a very interesting article up on the NBC News site, going over the final turnout numbers for this year’s primaries. Here’s the basic story:

“Democrats have been turning out in record numbers this year, and midterm history suggests that could have real significance in November.

In the most basic sense, the numbers show the difference in enthusiasm between 2018 and the last midterm election in 2014. There have been increases in turnout for both of the major political parties in this year’s House primaries, but the number for Democrats has skyrocketed…..

In 2010, when the Republicans rode a massive wave election to gain 63 seats in the House — as well as six Senate seats and numerous governorships — the party had an enormous 4.9-million vote edge in House primaries. And in 2014, the GOP had a smaller 2.2-million vote advantage in the House primary vote and gained 13 seats in the chamber.

So how big is the Democratic turnout edge this year? It’s pretty big. About 4.3 million more Democrats than Republicans voted in the House primaries of 2018….

That number compares favorably with others from recent elections. In raw terms, that’s a larger advantage than Democrats held in 2006 and close to the GOP number from 2010….

[T]he size of the difference between Democratic and Republican House primary vote offers some real, data-based evidence of the 2018 enthusiasm gap. And if past elections are any guide, the numbers here suggest Democrats have good reason to be hopeful about November.”

No guarantees of course. But data this strong has to count as a very good sign.

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