Enthusiasm gap looms: Dem voters 1.5x more likely to volunteer in 2018 than GOP


Democrats’ massive electoral victories last week are already spurring Clinton voters to further civic action.

Last week, Democrats all across the country turned out in droves to secure massive victories in Virginia and New Jersey, as well as pick up seats in New Hampshire and Georgia and flip the entire West Coast blue.

It was a validating and satisfying triumph of the resistance against Donald Trump, one year in the making.

And according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll, the victory has had a ripple effect among Democratic voters as the focus shifts to the midterm races next year:

A 57 percent majority of Clinton voters who’ve engaged in activism this year now say they believe they’ve been at least somewhat effective, up 17 points since late October. The share who describe themselves as “energized” currently stands at 39 percent, up 12 percentage points. By contrast, the share of politically active Trump voters who think they’ve been effective has remained practically unchanged over the same period of time.


Clinton voters who think their actions have been effective are 35 points likelier than those who don’t to say they’re at least somewhat likely to donate money to a party or candidate in next year’s election, and 33 points likelier to say they’re at least somewhat likely to volunteer. They’re also 20 points likelier to believe that Democrats will retake the House of Representatives in the next election.

Of particular note is the 33 point increase in Clinton voters who say they are likely to volunteer for Democratic causes or campaigns — 165 percent more than Trump voters. More volunteers would mean a broader ground game, and more effective efforts to turn out voters.

The elections last week were watched closely around the nation, particularly in Virginia, where the race between Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and GOP Confederate-sympathizing former corporate lobbyist Ed Gillespie was widely billed as the first real electoral referendum on the Trump agenda.

And the Trump agenda lost.

The few months leading up the election were not without progressive victories either, with an Obamacare repeal effort beaten back. Indeed, polls show that, more so even than Trump’s antics, rage over GOP attacks on health care — and Democrats’ promises to save it — may be propelling Democrats to victory.

And the newfound determination of Clinton voters to volunteer will prove critical to continued Democratic gains. It is clearer than ever that Democrats have found their voice in the Trump era — and they are starting to use it.