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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Teixeira: Brookings Study Shows Who Voted in 2018

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

2018 Turnout Data-palooza

My friend and frequent co-author Bill Frey has issued a nice report on the Brookings site on 2018 turnout. In the report, he mines the recently released Census Current Population Survey voter supplement data to provide detailed findings on turnout and vote share in 2018 by key demographics.

By and large, the general patterns found in the Census data agree with those found in other data sources like Catalist (previously posted), even if specific levels may differ (white noncollege share, for example, is significantly lower than Cataist in the Census data).

“[T]he new data shows groups that voted Democratic last November also displayed some of the biggest increases in voter turnout. Young adults ages 18 to 29—the age group that voted most strongly Democratic—saw a rise in their turnout rate by 16 percent from 20 percent in 2014 to 36 percent in 2018. Of course, older voters, ages 65 and above, continued to display the highest voter turnout levels at 66 percent; but the bigger 2014 to 2018 increase among young adults served to narrow the young/old turnout gap.

All major racial/ethnic groups turned up at the polls in higher numbers, but the biggest gains accrued to Democratic-leaning Hispanics and Asian Americans—up 13 percent since 2014. And while white citizens, overall, exhibited higher turnout rates than other groups, both the turnout level and recent rise were highest for white college graduates—a group that, nationally, supported Democratic House of Representatives candidates in November’s election.”

Frey also provides detailed tables that include turnout rates by race for every state, comparing 2014 and 2018, as well as vote share by race and white college/noncollege for every state. These tables alone are worth the price of admission!

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