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Are Democrats crying wolf or do they really fear a “surge” in Republican turnout on November 8?

by | Sep 23, 2022

By Dave Andrusko

You have to take what a Democratic group that coordinates get-out-the-vote efforts says with a pound and a half of salt. Their job, after all, is to raise money in order to rally the troops and one way America Votes does that is to predict a massive Republican turnout.

John Ward tells us that Yahoo News was “provided” a copy of the presentation made to donors [].

The headline neatly summarizes the pitch: “Democrats say they expect a pro-Republican ‘MAGA surge’ in fall elections.” [MAGA is “Make America Great Again.”)

These Democratic consultants are telling anyone who will listen that “The ‘MAGA surge is real.’” True (they argue) the party is competitive in races they didn’t expect to be, but “GOP turnout will be very high.”

The consultants are making the same argument David Byler did: the level of Republican turnout in primaries.

Ward writes, “Democrats expect this MAGA surge largely because turnout in Republican primaries so far this year has been sky-high, just as it was in 2021.” Some examples:

In Pennsylvania, for example, 1.3 million people cast ballots in the May 17 GOP primary, nearly double the total of 730,857 in 2018. That’s an 85% increase.

In Georgia on May 24, Republicans saw an even bigger surge, a 98% increase from the 2018 GOP primary. Turnout was 1.2 million in the Georgia Republican contest, up from 607,874 four years prior.

This pattern held through a number of contests. GOP primary turnout was up 42% in Nevada in June, and in August primaries it was up 66%.

They did find some good news for Democrats:

A recent Morning Consult/Politico survey of 2,005 registered voters found that 61% of Democrats said they were “extremely” or “very” enthusiastic about “voting in the midterm elections,” compared to 57% of Republicans.


But the kind of intensity demonstrated in this year’s primaries among Republicans was the kind of energy that translated into a big win for the GOP in the 2021 Virginia elections, even though Democrats had huge turnout as well. The GOP were victorious there for only the second time in the last 20 years, won the lieutenant governor and attorney general races, and recaptured control of the House in the state Legislature.

And Republicans did all that despite the fact that more Democrats went to the polls in 2021 than in 2017. And in the 2017 election, Democrats had completely smashed turnout records from previous years.

Of course the “MAGA” acronym is thrown out to “rile” Democratic donors, as Devin O’Malley, a Republican who worked with Glenn Youngkin who won the race for governor of Virginia.

A very interesting article. Please take a few minutes to peruse it.

Categories: Politics