Democratic turnout surges to 20-year high as voters look to check Trump


It looks like Trump's ugly agenda could be sending a record number of Democrats to the voting booth.

Democrats across the country are voting in huge numbers this year during the primary season.

That sizzling participation trend continued Tuesday night, especially in statewide races in Minnesota and Wisconsin, where Democrats flooded the polling places.

"In Minnesota, total primary turnout at more than 875,000 surpassed a 20-year high, with Democrat votes outnumbering Republican ballots by more than 250,000, according to unofficial state figures," Reuters reports.

"Wisconsin saw a similarly high level of voter turnout at around 950,000 ballots cast — numbers not seen since 2002 — with Democrats again outvoting Republicans by more than 80,000."

The two Midwest swings states remain crucial for this year's midterm cycle as Democrats try to regain control of Congress. They also represent must-win states for Democrats in 2020 as they look ahead to recapturing the White House. (Wisconsin voted for Trump in 2016 by the thinnest of margins.)

For now, the voter turnout trends are clearly favoring Democrats:

Polling data this year suggests Trump could be playing an oversized role in the midterm cycles, with a historic number of Americans saying Trump will be a factor in their vote, even though he's not on the ballot in 2018. Most voters say their vote will be against Trump this cycle, according to the Pew Research Center.

Indeed, a nightmare scenario seems to be unfolding for Republicans, where Trump energizes Democratic voters at a rate Republicans simply cannot match.

Even worse for the GOP, Trump appears to be depressing Republican turnout in some key regions.

During Tuesday's high-profile race to replace retiring Republican Speaker Paul Ryan in Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District, "More Democrats voted than Republicans in the congressional primary, with voter turnout for Democrats more than doubling from 2016," the Janesville Gazette in Wisconsin reports. "For Republicans, turnout shrank by about 10,000 votes."

Recent Pew analysis showed that primary turnout shot up a staggering 152 percent in Iowa this year — with 110,000 more Democrats voting in primaries this year compared to 2014. But Republican primary participation was down 57,000 votes.

The New York Times reported in June that Democratic turnout had bested Republican turnout in more than 120 congressional districts.

Pew also found that, generally speaking, 84 percent more people voted in Democratic House primaries in 2018 than in 2014. Republican primary voting totals are also up this year, but by much less — just 24 percent.

Democrats have to flip a net total of just 23 seats in the House this November to take control of the chamber and to push back against Trump.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.