A New Piece Of Data Spells Bad News For Democrats

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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More Republicans than Democrats participated in primary elections for the 2022 midterms, suggesting an enthusiasm gap that will favor the GOP in November.

Fifty-two percent of votes cast in primaries were in Republican races compared to 48% in Democratic races, pollster John Couvillon found according to a Washington Post analysis. In every midterm election since 2006, the party that received more primary participation gained seats. Republicans are expected to take back the House of Representatives in November, although Democrats have the inside edge on the upper chamber.

The analysis found that Republicans continued to turn out at higher rates even after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, which many analysts have credited with super-charging Democrat enthusiasm. Democrats have won three out of four House special elections held since the Court overturned Roe v. Wade. (RELATED: In Midterms Preview, Democrat Pat Ryan Defeats Republican Marc Molinaro)

Although officials like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy initially predicted that the GOP would win a wave election on par with the 2010 midterms, analysts believe that Republicans are likely to net between 15 and 30 seats. Republicans enjoyed a 12-point turnout advantage in the 2010 midterm primaries, according to The Washington Post’s analysis. That year, they netted 63 House and six Senate seats.

The analysis also noted a stark turnout advantage for Republicans in races where former President Donald Trump issued endorsements. In states like Ohio, Arizona, and Pennsylvania, Trump endorsed Senate candidates who subsequently emerged from contested primaries, while Democratic candidates more easily won their nominations. In states with a Trump endorsement, Republicans held a 14-point advantage, according to The Washington Post. Democrats held a two-point advantage in all other states.

Several other metrics, most notably President Joe Biden’s approval rating and generic ballot polls, favor the Republicans. However, Democrats have consistently out-raised their Republican opponents, both in- and out-of-state.