Q&A of the Day – Takeaways from the Midterm Election Cycle
Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods.
Twitter, Gettr, Parler: @brianmuddradio
iHeartRadio: Use the Talkback feature – the microphone button on our station’s page in the iHeart app.
Today’s Entry: @brianmuddradio That was an interesting breakdown of the midterms. What I take from it is that the outsized motivation toward D by young voters was the abortion issue, but it will fizzle as States begin to pass laws for the 67% of people that agree some limit is necessary.
Bottom Line: Over the past week and a half my Q&A’s have been dedicated to questions which speak directly of the important nuances that need to be understood in piecing together what happened in this years’ midterm elections. One which featured a record Republican showing in Florida, exceeding all expectations, while producing disappointing results for Republicans generally. By now we know that the longtime political truism of “how Florida goes the country goes”, no longer applies. We also now know all of these takeaways I’ve illustrated:
- Republicans easily won the congressional “popular vote” garnering 3.9% more votes than Democrats in these midterms
- Voters over 30, voted for Republicans in larger margins generationally than at any time since the 1930’s, while voters under 30 continued to vote for Democrats in much wider margins than any time since the 1930’s
- Republicans won most voters who were most concerned about the economy and crime, while Democrats won voters who were most concerned about the “future of democracy” and abortion
- The economy was overwhelmingly the top issue in the election (51% of voters) but nearly a third who cited the economy preferred Democrats...
- Abortion wasn’t even a top four issue for voters over 30, however it was the top issue for voters under 30 and while Democrats won most abortion voters, Republicans were preferred by just under a third who cited it as a motivating issue
- Voters of all demographics voted for Republicans in larger margins in Florida than did nationally
- Turnout was about 3.1% lower in the 2022 midterms compared to 2018’s
- Florida’s turnout was 4.4% lower than four years ago – led by Democrats turning out in significantly lower numbers in our state
My theme for unpacking this midterm election cycle is that it’s complicated. That summation of what I’ve illustrated thus far speaks to it being a complicated election which was especially different based on age and geography. Which brings me to today’s question as I complete this exercise. It takes me full circle to where I began this breakdown. GenZ / the future of this country in what I coined the Generational Divide. This dynamic is the most important from my perspective. I’ve heard conservative analysts attempting to downplay the extent to which the break for Democrats really matters. With some attempting to suggest that the youngest voters breaking 3% less for Democrats than in the 2018 midterms meant that it really wasn’t that big of a deal. That misses the mark in so many ways in my opinion. My comparisons have been done based upon generational changes. Not sequential voting patterns.
Here’s the final piece of the puzzle I’ll leave you with from this cycle. The change in voting behavior based upon generations at the same age:
- Older Boomers: 3% less conservative than the Silent Generation
- Gen X & Young Boomers: 3% more conservative than older Boomers
- Millennials: 4% more conservative than Gen Xers
- Gen Z: 15% more liberal than Millennials
Now, to the root of your question about what will happen with the abortion issue likely not being a front burner issue for these voters in a future election, I really don’t know. But what I do is that after having two consecutive generations which are voting more conservatively than their parents, we have a radical divergence with the current generation of youngest voters. By the time voters reach 45 years of age, they’re likely to support Republican candidates by a double-digit percentage. The reason there’s relative balance in our federal government is due to adults over 45 voting solidly conservative, while voters under 45 all the way down to 18 are likely to support Democrats. Given the base that GenZ is starting from, if typical voting patterns were to play out into the future with GenZ eventually becoming more conservative as all prior generations have (as they’ve entered the real world as well), there would still never be a time in which they wouldn’t solidly support Democrats. You can infer what the future of the country would look like if even the oldest voters were most commonly leftists. The generational divide is a big deal, and it appears to be bigger than just one issue as my analysis is based on generational comparisons and the difference in voting patterns across four voting cycles. Conservatives need to be mindful. Now in other news... Remember not all that long ago conservatives were lamenting the voting habits of Millennials? Based on current and historical trends, the average Millennial will be a Republican voter by 2024.