Why was republican turnout so high in 2018

Hopefully some Republicans can answer this.

Democratic turnout in 2018 was about 50% higher than a regular midterm. But gop turnout was about 25% higher also.

Gop turnout was higher than it was in 1994 and 2010 from what I can tell.

Generally turnout is high among the party out of power, but in 2018 the gop voted in higher numbers than they ever have before. They voted more than they did in 2010 when they were locked out of power on all levels.

Does anyone know why? Was it fear of a blue wave? Was it happiness with the Supreme Court nominations and the economy?

No data, but I suspect this all played into it. I’m not sure how real the “Kavanaugh Effect” was, but I do suspect the very real mobilization and motivation of the Democrats had a galvanizing effect on GOP voters. A sort of “we can’t let ourselves get swamped” effect. Plus all the media focus on this election would have the natural result of raising all ships.

Republicans have begun behaving like a minority group. They feel under attack and marginalized. They believe that they are facing severe persecution if they lose the reins of power. They feel that the people in power want to destroy them, their culture and their way of life. They are increasingly seeing politics as a zero sum game where every loss is another step closer to their destruction.

Whether these beliefs are true or not is certainly up for debate, but the truth of the beliefs doesn’t matter, only that they believe it to be so. This belief encourages extremely high voter turnout for obvious reasons. If you think that a thin red line is all that stands between you and cultural genocide, you don’t sleep in on election day.

I am not a Republican but I will answer it anyway.

There are many reasons that contributed to it, but the primary reason is Donald Trump and the fact that he is so much more intelligent than previous Republican leaders, such as George W. Bush and Newt Gingrich. Trump actually understands what the mass of typical Republican voters care about: immigration, trade, jobs, security. He kept those issues at the center of his message through the campaign.

Contrast that against, for instance, the 1998 campaign where Newt Gingrich chose to make it entirely about Bill Clinton getting a blow job from Monica Lewinsky. That simply didn’t motivate the voters and the Republicans did poorly.

Another fact is the changing media environment. Trump can use Twitter and knows that whatever he says at his rallies will dominate news coverage all across the country. He doesn’t bother trying to coordinate his message with hundreds of candidates or hire huge teams of expensive consultants and researchers to create ads specifically tailored to what a 56-year-old soccer Mom in suburban Pennsylvania supposedly wants. He just lets his own personality rule the campaign.

I agree with you that Republicans feel like they are a persecuted minority group.

White men without a college education prefer the GOP by 75-25 margins, which is about the same margins that gays prefer the democrats.

But in 2010 the gop was locked out of power. The democrats had the presidency with a mandate and super majorities in both houses of congress. They also controlled the majority of state houses and governorship.

Despite it, about 45 million Republicans showed up to vote.

In 2018 when the Republicans control the executive, both branches of the legislature and the majority of state houses, about 50 million Republicans showed up to vote.

So why would their voter turnout be higher in 2018 when they had a firm lock on power? Usually voters get complacent when they are in power.

I thought you were a republican, or at least libertarian.

You may have a point. Trump isn’t like Bush, who always spoke of tolerance for Muslims. Trump doesn’t dog whistle, he is blatant about how the gop base feel the nation is changing in ways that will threaten their lock on power (the rise of minorities and feminists, secularization, Islamic immigration, Latino immigrants, etc)

Plus Trump did do things on trade. Whether they are productive or not remains to be seen but he did change policies on trade rather than just support neoliberalism like both parties generally do.

I don’t consider Trump intelligent, far from it. But he knows how to speak to the gop base in their language.

Population has increased, but more than that, the rhetoric from the left has shifted and now fits more with their persecuted mindset. In 2010, the rhetoric on the left was policy oriented and much less vitriolic. It was harder to feed Republican fears. Current rhetoric feeds their narrative. There’s much more, “I can’t wait for them to die.” " I can’t associate with them." " They are backwards and ignorant and we’d be better off without them." In 2010, this was talk only on the extreme fringe. Now, it’s mainstream rhetoric from our side. It’s one thing to hear from their leaders, “They hate you and want to destroy you.” and hear the response, “We just want to provide insurance for all.” It’s quite another when your leaders say that and the response is, “We hate you and want to destroy you.”

I think the way Democrats handled the Kavanaugh hearings had a lot to do with it. Joe Manchin voted yes and won in one of the reddest states in the country. Donnelly, McCaskill, and Heitkamp voted no and lost. The point has been made that Republicans feel like a minority group that is under attack. What better example than the way Kavanaugh was treated to confirm that fear? IIRC it was around the time the Kavanaugh vote was delayed that 538 started showing a decrease in the admittedly already low likelihood of the Democrats winning the Senate. I believe those things are correlated.

And Nelson. Don’t forget him too.

With Nelson I think he had to consider the possibility he might have lost more votes on the left than he would have gained on the right had he voted yes.

They all had to consider that. The answer probably varied by state, but it was almost certainly a factor in all of their decisions.

There were eleven swing states with senate races featuring a senator who cast a Kavanaugh vote. No votes went 9-1 and yes votes went 0-1.

Kavanaugh helped the Dems.

You were half correct. I am libertarian and Libertarian.

I will freely admit that I didn’t think Trump was intelligent when he started running for President in summer of '15. I thought that he was another celebrity mouthing off on topics that he knew nothing about, like Oprah or Kate Perry or Jim Carrey. In fact, I suspected it was just a publicity stunt for some upcoming book or TV show or something like that.

Now I’ve changed my mind and I believe that he is very intelligent. That doesn’t mean that he knows everything; no one does. I doubt Trump has studied quantum physics or differential equations. But as an observer of human society, politics, economics, and the media environment his understanding is quite keen.

Perhaps the most important thing about his brain is how dynamic it is. Trump constantly watches how societies changes and adopts to new trends. When “reality TV” came along, he figured out how to launch his own unique show and he was pretty successful with it. He was an early adopter of Twitter and built up a huge following before launching his presidential campaign.

Needless to say, that Twitter following was a big part of his winning campaign. Throughout the Republican primaries he ran almost no TV, radio, or print ads. He did few interviews, while most candidates normally scrounge for as many interviews as they can get. He relied on Twitter for all the publicity that he needed and assumed that the media would report on anything significant that he tweeted.

Now let’s say back in 2014 you had gathered together 50 extremely smart Ivy League graduates with degrees in political science or communications, and asked them how to run a presidential campaign. They would all have agreed that you need to raise lots of money in order to spend it on TV spots, and that you need to do lots of interviews. And of course, no matter where you are, you want to appear as mild-mannered as possible and avoid giving deliberate offense to any ethnic group or religious group or income bracket, and so forth. This is how campaigns are done because this is how campaigns have always been done, and nothing should ever be changed.

Well, Trump is smarter at politics than 50 extremely smart Ivy League politic science majors combined. As far as I know, he has never studied political science at all but he ran his own campaign much better than the 20+ others that were run by experts.

For anyone who really wishes to understand Trump and his voters, I recommend this article by Mark Steyn.

I think you give him way too much credit. He is not at all intelligent. The secret to his campaign can be summed up in one word: hatred. There are about 25% of the population that hates the same people that he does, and he channeled their hatred and convinced them that he was one of them. To a point, he is one of them. He’s an ignorant, racist buffoon. But if you can have 100% of the support of 25% of the people, you only need 1/3 of the rest to form a majority. He did so in just enough states to carry him over the top. Everything else was just window dressing, the driving force behind his campaign was just bigotry and hatred.

As to why Republican turnout was so high- it’s always so high. Republicans always vote. Always. Some used the attempt to prevent a sexual predator from taking his place on the Supreme Court as the explanation, but it had little effect. Republicans will always turn out, that drives the result is how much everybody else turns out.

I think mainly two reasons:

  1. Many if not most Republicans believed that Christine Ford’s allegations were false. As such, they thought Democrats were drumming up dirty tricks to smear Kavanaugh and hence were outraged, motivating them to vote.
  2. Threat begets perception of threat. The more intensity Democrats revved up against Trump and his voters, the more Trump voters felt threatened and needing to vote.

What? Democrat senators in Indiana, Missouri, Florida and North Dakota voted against Kavanaugh and lost. The lone Democratic senator who voted for Kavanaugh won, in West Virginia.

As Senoy said, in 2010, Democrats were a pretty mild-mannered bunch. Today, they’re far more intense, far more vehemently anti-Republican. That makes the GOP even more afraid and motivated.

To be fair, today’s Republicans are more deserving of being anti than they were a mere eight years ago.

Maybe, but either way, the more Anti-Red that Blue is, the more Red will be motivated to vote.

Only one of those is a swing state.

Republicans winning Indiana, Missouri, and North Dakota does not indicate that Kavanaugh had a positive effect for Republicans. Two of those seats were only held by Dems because of legitimate rape guy and pregnancy from rape is a gift from God guy.

There were ten senate races in states that Trump won where the incumbent was a Democrat. Dems went 6-4 in those races. One of those six winners voted yes on Kavanaugh, but the other five didn’t.

If Kavanaugh had any effect at all, it probably helped the Democrats. Democrats won women 59-40. Plus 19! Last two midterms women went D+4 in 2014 and R+1 in 2010. This is the real Kavanaugh effect.