As Trump Approval Hits Record High, Dems Fear Low Millennial, Hispanic Turnout

Young voters are "very, very fired up, but the question is: Are they fired up for the next protest or for the next election?"

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 22:25

With just two weeks left until the midterm vote, Democrats are worrying that their get-out-the-vote efforts (which have included such novel strategies as catfishing people on twitter) won't mobilize the two demographic groups that are seen as crucial to a Democratic victory: Young people and Hispanics, per Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, the latest Gallup poll shows that support for President Trump surged to 44% during the first two weeks of October, just one percentage point below his personal best, which was reached during his first week in office. Gallup attributed the bump to the contentious confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, as the decades-old accusations of sexual misconduct apparently galvanized support for the president.

The boost in Trump's approval rating helped push his average approval rating for his seventh quarter in office, which began July 20 and ended October 19, to 41.2%. This Q7 average fell short of his 41.9% sixth-quarter average, but it's still nearly 5 percentage points above where it stood one year ago. And while Trump's Q7 approval is still comparatively low, it's not much lower than similar ratings for Bill Clinton (41.4% in 1994), Ronald Reagan (41.7% in 1982) and Jimmy Carter 42.3% in 1978. Trump's immediate predecessor, Barack Obama, also registered a weak Q7 approval rating during his seventh quarter in office, averaging 44.7% job approval in the late summer and early fall of 2010.

In addition to Kavanaugh, several other notable developments occurred during Trump's 7th quarter. The BEA confirmed that GDP growth expanded to 4.2% during the second quarter, consumer confidence climbed to its highest level in 2 decades while the S&P 500 broke through 2,900 for the first time.

Unsurprisingly, Americans who identify or lean Republican have consistently given Trump higher job approval ratings, and during his seventh quarter in office, their average approval rating increased from 81% to 85%, a sign that the president is slowly winning over more voters who were likely once members of the "#NeverTrump" camp. His average Q7 approval rating among independent voters also improved by 3 percentage points.

And while poll suggest that Republicans are closing the gap with Democrats, increasing the likelihood that they retain control of the House and the Senate following the Nov. 6 midterm, the Dems are worried that signs of interest among Latino voters won't translate to the voting booth. According to Bloomberg, one survey released Sunday found 71% of Latinos registered high interest in the midterms, a jump from the 49% of Latinos who said that in mid-September. Among voters under 35, the poll said 51% expressed high interest, which is lower than the 65% average for all registered voters.
This is hugely problematic for Democratic strategists, because there are 31 GOP-controlled districts where Hispanics make up one-quarter of the population or more.
"It’s just a really, really big question about who’s going to turn out to vote," Lake said. "We could lose Senate seats over it. We could lose - the margin in the House could be greatly reduced. There are a good 15 seats where the millennial and Latino vote make a huge difference, could be the margin of victory."
In the past, any interest ahead of the vote expressed by young voters and minorities didn’t translate at the ballot box, as both demographics largely sat out the midterms in 2014, 2010 and 2006. Historically, the trend in non-presidential elections is that voters are older, white and married - demographics that often benefit Republicans.
In 2014, Hispanics comprised 25.1% of eligible voters but just 6.8% of the electorate. In 2010, they accounted for 21.3% of eligible voters and 6.6% of the electorate. In 2006, a strong year for Democrats, they were 17.3% of eligible voters and just 5.6 percent of the electorate.
One strategist perfectly summed up the contradiction in the data: while young voters are "very, very fired up, but the question is: Are they fired up for the next protest or for the next election?"