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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Catalist Data Shows ’22 Bumps for Dems Among ‘Gen Z’, Women and White Working Class

In “That Gen Z midterm boost for Democrats might be real: A new analysis from the Democratic data firm Catalist helps explain how Democrats staved off disaster in 2022,” Steven Shepard writes:

Democrats avoided an electoral wipeout in the 2022 midterms. One way they did so was by reassembling a history-defying coalition of young voters who turned out at rates more commonly seen in presidential elections, according to a new study of voter-file data.

The Democratic data firm Catalist found that these voters bested 2018 turnout levels in states with the most competitive races for governor or Senate — and they overwhelmingly favored Democratic candidates, even if the overall political environment swung to the right.

Like other studies of the 2022 electorate — which mostly rely on surveys of voters on or around Election Day — the Catalist report finds that Democrats increased their support among women voters over 2020. Abortion is cited as a key factor in that shift: Polls and registration data show that Democratic women were more motivated to vote after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision.

The Catalist report does offer some warning signs for the party, particularly a drop in turnout among Black voters. But it mostly suggests that close, high-turnout elections continue to be the norm since Donald Trump’s election in 2016. Both sides are highly activated to participate in both presidential elections and years in between. That means we could be headed to another year of record or near-record voter turnout in 2024, even if both candidates wind up being unpopular.

High turnout was especially evident in the most competitive races, Catalist found. Democrats’ defiance of a so-called “red wave” came because Democrats managed to win the lion’s share of competitive races for Senate, governor and House.

….But Catalist’s findings are a bit counterintuitive. They found that Democratic candidates in competitive races won 40 percent of white voters without a college degree, up from 36 percent in 2020. By contrast, Democrats’ share of white college graduates in those contests dipped from 53 percent in 2020 to 51 percent in 2022.

To find out “How did they do it, and what does it mean for 2024 — and beyond,” read on here.

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