Democrats Are More Enthusiastic Than Republicans For the First Time Since 2006

Here are some findings from a couple of recent Pew surveys. First, a pair of questions related to voter enthusiasm in midterm elections:

The left-hand chart shows that, starting in 2006, midterm votes became much more a vote against the sitting president than anything else. I wonder if that’s entirely a good thing? In any case, anti-Trump sentiment is high this year, but it’s worth noting that it’s still not quite as intense as anti-Bush sentiment was in 2006. Of course, by then Bush had had six years for us to get sick of him.

The right-hand chart shows voter enthusiasm. Democrats usually have trouble turning out the vote for midterm elections, but this year enthusiasm is sky-high—far higher than it was even in the wave election of 2006. It’s even as high as Republican enthusiasm in the tea-party wave of 2010. If this keeps up, it’s bad news for Republicans.

So who’s responsible for this enthusiasm? Young women:

Every other demographic group has changed hardly at all, but millennial women have increased their identification with Democrats by 15 points in just a few years. What’s interesting is that this started in 2015, so it’s probably not especially related to either Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders. But it might be! I’d have to get hold of the individual surveys throughout 2015 to know for sure.

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