Expect Voter Turnout To Be Record Breaking In 2020, Elections Expert Says
Two-thirds of the voting age population could turn out to vote in the 2020 presidential race, if one election analyst’s findings are to be taken seriously.
Michael McDonald, an elections expert at the University of Florida, says around 67 percent of voters could turn out to vote in 2020. It would be the highest turnout in United States presidential elections since 1916, and seven points higher than what turnout was in 2016.
According to a report from Axios, McDonald bases his findings off of what was recently witnessed during the 2018 midterms — a huge influx of voter participation.
In 2018, turnout was estimated to be just under 50 percent. That may sound low to some, but it’s actually incredibly high for a midterm election, and the highest seen since 1914. For comparison, turnout in 2014, the previous midterm year, was 36.7 percent, according to Vox.
Elections expert: Turnout for the 2020 presidential election could be as high as 67% — the highest it's been since at least 1916. If that happens, @realDonaldTrump will have a tougher fight for a second term. https://t.co/xZZNJuTxiv
— Jennifer Granholm (@JenGranholm) May 22, 2019
There seems to be one reason alone for why turnout is, and will be, so high, McDonald explained: President Donald Trump.
“It doesn’t seem to be the candidates who were running in 2018; there wasn’t hyper competition driving turnout; some states made it easier to vote, but that can’t explain it because the increase was happening in every state,” he said. “So the only explanation is Donald Trump because he’s the only major factor that’s changed in our politics since 2014.”
A higher turnout — especially one that is based on disappointment or outrage over Trump’s actions in office — could make it difficult for the president to win re-election. Yet McDonald cautioned that his findings shouldn’t lead any to assume just those who are disappointed will turnout, stating that Trump’s Republican base will also likely be motivated to come to his defense.
“I’d imagine these people are going to be activated in 2020 with Trump on the ballot,” McDonald said.
Another elections expert, Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia, agreed that turnout will be extraordinarily high in 2020.
“Anti-Trump Democrats and the pro-Trump base will both set human adrenaline records — the intensity across the country is going to be spectacular,” Sabato said. “Let’s hope the polling places can accommodate the crowds.”