Maybe Democrats aren’t as unhappy with the state of things as we’ve been led to believe because nearly half of them intend to sit out the next election, a new poll says.
The ABC News poll released today shows only 57 percent of Democrats plan to vote in the 2018 mid-term elections, which, is when a ruling party usually struggles to retain power.
In normal times, turnout among Democrats during the mid-terms is low, but these are not normal times.
The division is also narrower than in the past, further indicating no outsized impact of Trump’s unpopularity at this point. Ahead of the 2014 midterms, registered voters said they’d cast their vote to oppose rather than support Barack Obama by a 10-point margin, and the gap against George W. Bush was 14 points in November 2006, both bigger than the scant 4-point difference today.
Nor does either side have an edge in enthusiasm: Eighty-four percent of anti-Trump registered voters say it’s extremely or very important to them to vote to oppose him the midterms. Eighty-two percent of pro-Trump registered voters are as strongly committed to supporting him.
There’s also little difference between potential new midterm voters — those who say they’ll vote in 2018, but didn’t in 2014 — and off-year veterans. A fifth of potential new voters say they’d vote to support Trump, while 28 percent say they’d vote to oppose him; it’s 22 and 24 percent among registered return voters.
Naturally, intention to vote to support Trump peaks among those in his own party in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. Fifty-two percent of registered Republicans say they’ll vote to back up the president, while a smaller share of registered Democrats, 41 percent, say they’ll vote to oppose him. Independents, for their part, are most likely to say Trump won’t be a factor in their vote, 62 percent; among the rest slightly more are in opposition than in support, 22 vs. 13 percent.
The problem for Democrats, according to the poll, is they don’t appear to stand for much more than standing against Donald Trump.