Republicans have been anticipating the November election and dreaming of defeating Democrats during the midterm elections in 2022. This is the first chance for Americans to fight back after the unorthodox, controversial 2020 election and its devastating consequences for the country and the world at large. Republicans are not as confident after seeing seemingly certain victories disappear a few times. Each indication that the country is heading in the right direction for a major political overhaul is a welcome sign. We saw a large, flashing, amazing sign on Tuesday.
John Couvillon is the founder of MC Analytics & Polling (JMC). He studied the turnout of voters in the ten states that have had primary elections in 2022 and compared the results to 2018 (the last midterm election, during which Democrats took back the majority in Congress) and discovered major shifts in Republican turnout across all states, with the exception of one.
The trend that began in Texas, with a 60-percent Republican electorate that grew to 65 percent by March of 2018, was nearly unaffected by nine other primaries scheduled between May 3 and May 19. In the 10 contests examined in the analysis, the Republican portion of the electorate has grown from 53 percent to 61 percent. However, the overall turnout is up 15 percent (a 32-percent increase in Republican primary turnout and a decline of 3 percent in Democratic participation).
Comparing partisan primary turnouts for 2022 versus 2018 with a sampling of 10 states shows that the overall turnout is up 21 percent (and 2018 was a record turnout year)–with Democrat turnout up 3 percent, but Republican turnout up a whopping 38 percent. The Republican percentage fluctuated between 53 and 60 percent of voters.
Oregon was one state to see a small decrease (one entire percentage point) in Republican participation, 44 percent in 2018 compared to 43 percent in 2022. Yet, Oregon did not elect any Republicans for the presidential office in the recent past.
It's encouraging to note the fact that Republicans in Pennsylvania, which Joe Biden supposedly won during the 2020 federal election, have increased from the 45-to-54 percent of the 2018 midterms to 54 percent in 2022. That's a nine-point gain. RIP, Pennsylvania Democrats.
Couvillon also examined seven states–Texas, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina, Idaho, and Kentucky–all of which Trump was able to win in 2020. It's not a surprise that Republicans are overrepresented in these states. It's pleasing to see these states becoming even redder. Three-quarters (73 percent) of voters were Republican in Nebraska, where Trump scored four of five electoral votes, with Biden receiving one.
Couvillon’s report explains why midterms are not as popular as presidential elections. This makes partisan fervor an important indicator of midterm turnout. JMC doesn't compare the level of enthusiasm or turnout within a state where both parties are competing for state office. JMC looked at midterm results from 37 states between 2010 and 2018 and concluded that Republicans received 55 percent of the primary vote in 2010 and 2014. Both were GOP landslide years. In 2018, the Democratic landslide was characterized by an 18-point swing toward a 54-percent Democratic primary electorate. This implies that the partisan primary vote is predictive in some way.
The current trends indicate that Republicans are gaining 60 percent of the primary vote, five points more than they did in the years 2010 and 2014, which were both GOP landslides. While nobody should pop the cork yet, it is safe to place the bottle on ice, then wash the champagne flutes.