Which side keeps the momentum re: voter participation?

Voter apathy is a cornerstone of American electoral politics. “Get out the vote” initiatives have always been of paramount importance, and our elections are primarily decided by the number of people who can be bothered to vote.

The 2020 election was defined by its record levels of participation.

So who is going to do a better job of maintaining this level of participation? If one side slips to 2016 levels and the other side maintains even a significant fraction of newly engaged voters, that’s the ball game.

It’s easy to assume the Georgia special elections will be a bellwether here, but it may be too close to the same raw feelings that prompted the massive (massive for us, anyway) turnout in this one.

Stacey Abrams is, rightfully, getting a lot of positive attentions because of the ground game she ran in Georgia. I’ll be surprised if she’s not offered a spot doing the same thing at the national level for the next two years.

It may be wishful thinking but I would guess a greater percentage of Biden voters are “Democratic voters” than Trump voters who are “Republican voters”. In other words, the Democrats can maintain their momentum without Biden easier than the Republicans can without Trump.

2016 happened in part because moderates on both sides did not expect that result. Once bitten, twice shy etc

Plus as mentioned above a lot of Trump voters are not loyal to the GOP.

Additionally unlike with Obama Biden himself isn’t widely adored. That plus the narrow Congressional win I would imagine means expectations are tempered somewhat for what he can achieve.

It’ll ebb and flow, as it always has. Republicans are likely to have the edge in participation in the 2022 midterm elections. Historically, the “out party” has been more motivated to get out and vote in protest of the Administration during the first midterm election than the “in party” has been to defend it.

But how does that work in 2022 Senate races when the out party could very well be the Democrats.

Sorry, by “out party” I meant the party not controlling the White House. The trend is that the President’s party tends to lose seats in midterm elections, even if the opposition controls one or both chambers of Congress.

Trump was the main driver of the vote for both sides, so I’m going with “neither”.

I might be wrong but I think the last time Democrats went into a midterm without control of Congress (but had the White House) was 1998 and the GOP got creamed. That might have been due to the impeachment, but I don’t think there are enough examples of midterms going against the President’s party when they don’t have Congress to assume his party will lose seats.

It was a split Congress in Obama’s second midterm in 2014 (Rs had the House and Ds had the Senate) and the Rs improved their numbers in both chambers. But it’s a fair point that it’s a limited sample size to draw any conclusions from.

If midterms are a correction for coattails, than there shouldn’t be one for Biden in 2022.

It all depends on how Trump behaves. He could very well take a “screw the mainstream GOP for not sticking by me” approach to his having lost. If he does take that approach, that would likely mean that 2022 won’t be a repeat of 1994 and 2010. On the other hand, if he focuses more on the how “those Democrats stole the election from me and you all need to take revenge” then 2022 could be a huge red wave. It all depends on Trump’s behavior.

The other factor is that reapportionment and redistricting are likely to create more Republican opportunities in the House, including a good chance to flip the chamber. That could generate Republican voter enthusiasm itself.