The 2018 elections saw the highest turnout in a midterm since 1914, with 50.3% of registered voters heading to the polls according to Nonprofit Vote. The number marked a 13.6% increase from the 36.7% turnout in 2014, which was the lowest midterm turnout rate since 1942. Furthermore, 35 states had their highest midterm turnout in at least 40 years, with every state except Alaska and Louisiana seeing an increase in midterm turnout over 2014.
Based on the results from last month’s statewide elections in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Virginia, turnout numbers for next year’s presidential contest could soar.
While off-year elections are usually low turnout affairs, according to officials in the aforementioned states there was a significant upturn last month. The Hill’s Reid Wilson recently broke down the numbers for the contests held last month and the data suggests high voter enthusiasm heading into 2020.
Louisiana: “More than 1.5 million voters cast a ballot in last week’s gubernatorial runoff, a turnout rate of just more than 50 percent. It was the highest number of votes cast in a gubernatorial election since 1995.”
Kentucky: “42 percent of registered voters turned out to vote earlier this month. The 1.4 million votes split between Gov.-elect Andy Beshear (D) and Gov. Matt Bevin (R) represent the largest number of ballots cast in a Kentucky gubernatorial election in the commonwealth’s 227-year history.”
Virginia: “Nearly 2.4 million voters showed up to cast ballots in state legislative elections, according to preliminary counts by the Department of Elections, a 42 percent turnout. That was 13 points higher than in 2015, when just over 1.5 million Virginians voted in legislative elections, and only slightly below the 2.6 million voters who cast ballots in the 2017 gubernatorial election.