By Jason Yates, My Faith Votes CEO
November 7, 2018
I’ve been pouring over the election results, and I want to provide you with some key insights that you may not have yet read.
- The GOP losses in the House were in line with historic averages. The president’s party almost always suffers a net loss of U.S. House seats in midterm elections. Gallup reported that presidents with job approval ratings below 50% have seen their party lose 37 House seats, on average, in midterm elections. Gallup’s latest approval rating for Trump was at 40%.
- Turnout was the highest in 48 years for a midterm election. Michael McDonald of the non-profit organization Elect Project made an initial estimate that 111.5 million votes were cast in the midterms, for a national turnout rate of 47.3%. That turnout rate hasn’t been seen in a midterm election since 1970. In the last three midterms, roughly 85 million people voted.
- In total, evangelicals made up 27 percent of the voters, according to preliminary projections. An ABC News exit poll found that white evangelical Christians are voting 75-25 in the House vote in favor of Republicans, or near their typical level.
- Turnout by voters 65+ surged yesterday. Seniors made up about 26% of the electorate, compared to an average of 21% in the last three midterm elections.
- There was no disproportional surge in the youth vote. 18-29 year-olds made up 13% of the vote, compared to 12%-13% in the last three midterm elections. But there is a disproportional way in which young people vote. 67% of young voters chose the Democrats according to exit polls.
- Democrats are strengthening with women. In 2012, GOP lost the vote with women by 12 percentage points. Yesterday, the gap was widened when 19% more women voted for Democrats. At the same time, an NBC News exit poll found that the gender gap has decreased among white evangelicals voting for Republicans. The 11-point gender gap that existed among white evangelicals in 2016 shrunk to six points in 2018.
These insights are just some of the interesting statistics we are learning after the midterm elections that we believe are worth highlighting.
We will continue to provide information as it relates to Christian voter turnout and participation across the country and encourage Christians to be involved in civic responsibility in both election years and in off-year elections.