Voter turnout soared among young people and people of color in 2018

Young people and people of color were key in making the 2018 elections the highest-turnout midterm elections in more than a century. According to a new report from the Census Bureau, 53.4 percent of eligible voters turned out in 2018, the highest percentage since 2014. 

Turnout rose across the board, but “Turnout increased much more in the segments most opposed to Trump—young adults, women, the more educated, and central city residents. Turnout increased the least in the segments most supportive of Trump—men, older adults, the less educated, and non-metro residents,” according to demographer Cheryl Russell. African American turnout rose by 10 points, and Hispanic and Asian American turnout rose by 13 points. Younger voters were also much more likely to vote in 2018 than in 2014—16 points more likely, an increase from 20 percent to 36 percent.

Increased turnout among Democratic-leaning groups should happen again in 2020 … but don’t get too comfortable with that. “Trump’s supporters will show up to vote for him. They may not have showed up to vote for some other candidates when his name wasn’t on the ballot,” political scientist Michael McDonald predicts.

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