Mid-Term Election Update: No Blue Wave, But No Red Wave Either

While 2018 is a major election year, many states have had their primary elections yet. But as the November General Election draws closer, the nature of this year’s “mid-term” election is taking shape. A new survey by the non-partisan American Culture and Faith Institute, directed by George Barna, provides some new insights into where things stand today – and what those conditions might mean for the November outcome.

Voters’ State of Mind

ACFI interviewed a sample of 1,000 adults from across and used their responses to divide them into various segments, one of which is comprised of “likely voters” in the November election. Looking only at the replies of those likely voters, ACFI discovered:

  • 69% are angry about the state of America
  • 66% say America is going in the wrong direction politically
  • 68% say America is going in the wrong direction culturally
  • 77% say America is going in the wrong direction morally
  • 42% say America is going in the wrong direction economically
  • Only 33% believe a Deep State – that is, “a group of unelected government and military officials who secretly manipulate or direct national policy” – definitely exists
  • 45% approve of the job Donald Trump is doing as president

The survey data also revealed that Democrats have a more intensive interest in the mid-term outcome than do Republicans thus far. Upon comparing the responses of people from those two segments, Democrats were more likely to note the “wrong direction” of the country (related to all four dimensions listed above), more likely to describe the coming election as “extremely” or “very important”, more attentive to news about politics and government (including the 2018 election), and substantially more likely to be a “likely voter” in November.

Likely to Vote

Mid-term elections traditionally generate only a minority of registered voters casting a ballot. Over the course of the three most recent mid-term General Elections (2014, 2010, 2006), the average turnout has been just 36.8% of the voting-age population.

The ACFI survey estimates that if the 2018 election were to be held today, the estimated turnout would be even lower than the recent average – approximately 33%. (See the  About the Research section at the end of this report for a description of the factors used to identify likely voters.)

Digging a bit deeper, the survey estimated that turnout would be higher among Democrats (51%) than among either Republicans (42%) or Independents (40%).

The results also indicated that liberals are more enthusiastic about voting in November than are conservatives. An estimated 53% of liberals would turn out today, compared to just 41% among conservatives and a mere 23% of moderates.

Among the major faith segments, 49% of SAGE Cons would be expected to vote, compared to 36% of Notional Christians, 31% of born again Christians, 30% of Skeptics, and 28% of people associated with non-Christian faiths.