It’s far too early to read the tea leaves from the early voting returns. … But given the polls of voter enthusiasm, the astronomical fundraising numbers, and the remarkable number of ballots cast in this year’s special elections and primaries, there’s plenty of reason to believe this is going to be a uniquely high turnout midterm election.
University of Florida professor Michael McDonald, who runs the United States Election Project blog, expects that some 45-50 percent of eligible U.S. voters will participate in the midterms—a figure not seen in a midterm election since 1970. In the 2014 midterms, slightly over a third of eligible voters, or 37 percent, cast ballots.
McDonald is basing that prediction in part on the high rates of early voting in states like Georgia, where turnout is three times higher than it was at this time in 2014.
“The initial early voting data we’re seeing is very unusual,” McDonald told TPM. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”
In Georgia, a state that maintains individual-level voting data, black voters are turning out in huge numbers compared to the previous midterm cycle.