Here’s What Powered the Democratic Win in 2018

Yair Ghitza at Catalist has a detailed look at the 2018 election that’s been updated with lots of new data. One of the things he looks at is the long-running question of how important turnout is compared to changing minds. Here’s how it penciled out in 2018:

  • Turnout: 37 million dropped off the rolls compared to 2016, reducing the Democratic margin by 2.0 percentage points. However, there were 14 million new voters who increased the Democratic margin by 2.6 percent.
  • Changing minds: 99 million people voted in both elections, providing Democrats with an increased margin of 4.5 percent.

One way of looking at this is that the net result of turnout changes was 0.6 percent, while the net result of changed voting was 4.5 percent. Thanks to rounding, this adds up to an increased Democratic margin of 5.0 percentage points. Of this, nine-tenths was due to changing minds.

This hardly means that turnout isn’t important, but it does suggest that in 2018, at least, the biggest factor by far was disappointment with Donald Trump, leading many of his supporters to switch their vote to Democratic candidates. Or it might mean that Trump has no coattails: his fans still like him, but that doesn’t always translate into voting for Republicans.

Ghitza also has a demographic look at the 2018 election, which I always find fascinating. The overall Democratic margin increased by 5 percent, so the most interesting question is: which groups increased their Democratic support by more than 5 percent, and which by less? Here’s the answer:

The biggest changes came among the middle-ish age groups (25-49), independents, and whites with college degrees.

The whole post is worth a read. Click here to see it.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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