Is there any point voting in mid-terms if you're in a "safe" district / state?

This may just expose my profound ignorance of the process, but is there actually any strategic point in voting if you’re in a safe district / state?

Say your congressional district always goes with one party and is projected to do so again, and say your senator is similarly “safe” or not up for election in the coming mid-term - is there any additional strategic or tactical reason to vote when considering national outcomes?

To give your party leadership a slightly more accurate guess as to how many people might vote in the real election, and to ensure that your registration is valid.

There are lots of other positions on my ballot in this election cycle, and some referendums that are very contentious. Besides, I always vote, don’t want to get out of the habit.

At the very least, it establishes the habit of voting. Just like people who are skipping the gym ‘just for today’, voting in every election reinforces that habit.

A closer than expected margin of loss can also encourage better candidates to run in the next election since it could be winnable. Otherwise, you end up with sacrificial lambs who are often bizarre nutcases

Think more long-term. If you want to keep it safe, vote to let others know there’s no point in opposing, now and in the future. If you want to change it, vote to close the margins and build enthusiasm for the next time around.

I think it matters greatly.

Politicians note trends as well as outcomes. Let’s say you’re a member of the B Party in a district which has been voting for the A Party candidates. You know there’s no chance that the B Party candidate is going to win.

But the party officials also look at the percentages. If the A Party lead shrinks from 80% to 60% while the B Party vote grows from 20% to 40% then the A Party is going to modify its positions. It’s going to adopt a more moderate platform in an attempt to hang on to the voters who are moving from A to B.

Just like in football, there are upsets in elections where the expected side doesn’t win.

Look at Trump vs Clinton–I expect you would find quite a few Clinton supporters who never voted because they expected her to easily win.

I think that was a big part of why she lost. Some folks figured that she was going to win and would have voted if they’d thought otherwise but didn’t want to feel guilty if she did win and things turned to crap.

I always vote except for people who are unopposed. Our local congressman is a Dem who I would vote for except he’s been in office over 30 years. Time for Dem new blood , his seat is safe so I will not vote in that race or vote libertarian. His seat is so safe he does not even bother to run ads or campaign in any way. The GOP packed a lot of Dems into his district to make the other nearby districts more red.

Voting always matters; I won’t repeat the many good reasons already given.

How many people in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania didn’t vote in 2016, assured that Hillary would win their state?

The place where I vote gives me an I Voted sticker. It’s also a rare occasion where I can be the youngest person in the room.

In addition to what people have already said, downballot races can also have national outcomes, and those are often very close indeed. E.g., the Virginia House of Delegates would have a different majority party right now if ONE more Democrat had voted in the 94th district, and given that state legislatures do stuff like drawing Congressional district lines, that kind of thing can have political impact that extends well beyond a single state. (Plus, your state and local politicians probably have as much or more impact on your life as whatever is going on at the national level.)

Though the headlines are often focused on federal races a lot of policy is on the state and local level. In the run up to the 2020 census the control of the state legislatures may drive federal policy for the next decade by allowing a particular party to draw the congressional district map.

So vote. Strength in your favored party now may put them in control later at redistricting time.

The same can be said for the other side:

How many people in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania didn’t vote for Trump in 2016, assured that Hillary would win their state?

Vote because every vote is counted. The marginal impact of a single vote is usually tiny, but it’s not zero. And sometimes it’s large.

Vote because it’s your duty as a member of a culture with democracy to vote. The more people who vote, the better our culture reflects us. Vote because it sets a good example in your community.

As others said, the margin matters. It can influence policy even if you don’t win.

A Congressman who wins by only 55% to 45% is likely to behave differently than one who wins 80% to 20%. He will feel more jeopardy and have to account for his opposition more.

I think the phenomenon was primarily one-sided. Republicans tend to be much more reliable voters than Democrats, they turn out no matter what. Plus they were energized from pure hatred of Hillary, they were determined to extend the middle digit to her even if it wouldn’t matter. On top of that, the typical Donald voter is extremely committed if not fanatical. They didn’t care if it would be in a losing effort, they were going to vote for their hero.

Or with unopposed races, which make those of us who grew up where races are normally competitive stare in wonder.

That is a good one. I don’t think I have ever been in a voting place and seen anyone younger than me.