The Midterm Turnout Problem that Democrats Need to Fix

Elephant Donkey election flag

You’ve no doubt heard people mention that the Democrats are historically bad at turning out people for midterm elections. How bad is it, and what can be done?

After President Obama was first elected in 2008, the Democrats basically didn’t turn out for the 2010 midterms at all. The Republicans didn’t turn out at quite the same rate as they did during the presidential election, but they did a much better job turning out their voters.

In 2010, the Democrats lost of ton of ground, not just in Congress but in state legislatures all over the country. One race after another, powered in part by the Tea Party, seat after seat went to the Republicans that night. Here’s how bad our turnout was in 2010:

Midterm Dropoff Turnout Graph

You can see that Republican voters didn’t turn out quite like they did in 2008, but their decrease was only 15%. But the decrease for Democrats was roughly 40%!

After President Obama’s win in 2012, how much did the Democratic vote decrease in 2014? A whopping 47%! This is a pattern, a habit, that we must help break.

We have the voters, and right now we have great enthusiasm, but unless Democrats turn out and vote–every time, every election, every race–we will not be able to take back these seats and take the country in the direction we want.

So what’s it going to take? Simple solution, yet it is going to take a lot of work to turn the tide. At a bare minimum, every one of us must do what we can to do two things:

Get People Registered

Get Out the Vote

Let’s go.

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