George Barna: Mid-Term Election Update: No Blue Wave, but No Red Surprise 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.

Election Interest and Party Preference through Mid-May 2018

Party Preference at the Polls

When likely voters were asked which party’s candidates they would be more likely to vote for, the Democratic Party’s candidates were in a better position than those aligned with the Republican Party. Overall, 46% of likely voters said they would support the Democratic Party candidates while only 35% lined up behind the GOP nominees. Note that an additional two out of every ten likely voters were either not yet decided or said they did not choose candidates solely based on party affiliation.

ACFI stated that there are 13 states in which there will probably be competitive races for a U.S. Senate seat. In those states, an election held today would produce an estimated turnout of about 37% – marginally higher than the 33% across the nation. In fact, in the competitive states there was little to distinguish the intentions of people according to party or ideology. Voters aligned with both major parties were equally likely to pay attention to election news; equally likely to state that the nation is moving in the wrong direction; and equally likely to approve of Donald Trump’s handling of his job thus far.

However, in those highly competitive states likely voters are less likely than are people in non-competitive states to have made up their mind about who they might vote for at this stage of the contest. Democratic candidates have an edge, but a larger proportion of voters remain undecided in the hotly-contested states than elsewhere.

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Source: Christian Post