As part of our ongoing efforts to understand the voting patterns of the Rising American Electorate, we’ve worked with Lake Research Partners to produce this report, which catalogues the changes in voting turnout for the Rising American Electorate between 2012 and 2016 – and makes projections for voter drop-off in 2018.
The projections are sobering and troubling to everyone who cares about increasing participation in our great democracy. Our prediction is that 40 million Americans who voted in 2016 won’t cast a ballot in the 2018 midterms — and to make matters worse, 2/3 of those drop-off voters will be members of the Rising American Electorate. The RAE dropoff is projected to be particularly pronounced in key 2018 battleground states, such as Arizona, Nevada, Florida, and Ohio:
Add in the effects of ongoing vote suppression efforts and the implication is clear: Democracy is facing a headwind in 2018. We need to double down on voter registration, mobilization and turnout efforts, and fighting for voting rights in order to make sure that every American has the opportunity to raise their voice at the ballot box.
On March 8, Democrats and Republicans will vote in Michigan and Mississippi; additionally, Republicans will vote in Idaho and caucus in Hawaii. (Democrats in Idaho and Hawaii will caucus on March 22 and March 26, respectively.)
Michigan is the big prize in terms of delegates: Michigan Democrats will send 147 delegates to Philadelphia and the GOP will send 59 to Cleveland. Mississippi has 41 Democratic and 40 Republican delegates, Idaho Republicans have 32 delegates, and Hawaii Republicans have 19 delegates.
In Michigan, the Rising American Electorate—unmarried women, people of color, and millennials—make up half of all the eligible voters in the state. Unmarried women are 26% of Michigan’s vote-eligible population, millennials are 24%, and people of color are 21%.
So we thought it would be interesting to look more closely at where millennials overlap with unmarried women and people of color—since millennials are one of the most highly-contested demographic groups on the Democratic side.
Almost four in ten millennials in Michigan (38.1%) are unmarried women. 15.8% of unmarried millennial women in Michigan are African-American, and 6.7% of unmarried millennial women in Michigan are Latino.