Now, 56% of Americans say they are “absolutely certain to vote” in November’s Midterm, according to recent Gallup polling. Self-identified Republicans have a very small edge, with 65% saying they are “absolutely certain to vote” compared to Democrats’ 64%. Only 45% of Independents say they are certainly going to vote in November.
More interesting is Gallup’s finding that only 23% of registered voters say their 2018 vote will be “in order to send a message that they oppose the president.” That’s the lowest opposition number on that question this century. By comparison 20% say they will vote to send a message to support the president. This is higher than 18% who said that in 2006 with President George W. Bush and 17% who said that in 2014 with President Barack Obama. A majority of voters, however, say they “will not be sending a message about the president with their vote.”
This runs counter to the narrative that 2018 will be a “blue wave election.” Looking back at the last four Midterms, there were more voters motivated to send a message to the sitting president in all but one. In Spring 2014, 30% of voters said they were going to vote to send a message of opposition to Mr. Obama. Democrats then lost 13 House seats and 9 Senate seats. In October 2010, 30% of voters said they were voting to send a message of opposition to the president, and Democrats lost 63 House seats and 6 Senate seats. In November 2006, 31% of voters said they were voting to send message of opposition to Mr. Bush, and Republicans lost 30 House seats and 6 Senate seats. When Republicans gained 8 House seats and 2 Senate seats in 2002, only 15% of voters that October said they would be voting to send a message of opposition to Mr. Bush.
Democrats have yet to find a unifying coherent message other than their hatred for President Trump. These numbers show that message is not taking hold nor is it motivating their voters as they intend.