Voting Among Subgroups in 2014

We have recently discussed the importance of turnout, and we firmly believe that turnout will determine the outcome of this election. But, this is not to say that direction of vote conditional on turnout is not important. A lot of media attention is spent on White men without a college degree, or suburban, college-educated, white women. Other key demographics, that arguably receive less attention, are Milennials and African-Americans. Both demographics have been reliable Democratic blocks in recent midterms.

Here are the Exit Polls from 2104, courtesy of the New York Times. To cut to the chase, two-party vote share among Blacks was 90% Democrat, 10% Republican. Among Millennials (18-29), the margins were much closer, with 55% Democrat, and 45% Republican.

What we see Now

Casual observers of the political space have noted a focus of conservative intellectuals on the Black and Millennial vote, respectively. If you follow Candace Owens or Charlie Kirk on Twitter these days, it easy to be pessimistic about both demographic groups. Not in the least, Kanye West’s controversial Twitter and Saturday Night Live rant, and his subsequent departure from social media, have also stirred renewed questions as to how Democratic the Black vote will be going forward. Will African Americans remain solidly Democratic, or is there a potential for a massive realignment in the yeas to come?

This cycle, PredictWise has conducted massive amounts of generic ballot polling (i.e. questions asking respondents whether they vote for the Democratic or the Republican candidate), relying on more than 3 Million responses from 200,000 respondents. In addition, we have conducted private, candidate-specific polling in 40 of the most competitive districts. We poll the horse race as we always do, relying on state-of-the-art Random Device Engagement (RDE) polling. Here is what we see: We estimate that among 18-24 year olds, 60% will vote Democratic come November, and among 25-34 year olds, that number even reaches 62%, a much higher support number than the 55% among 18-29 year olds in 2014 (though no direct comparison).

Among African Americans, however, Democratic support has fallen since 2014. While only 10% of African Americans voted for the Republican candidate in 2014, per exit polls, by our own estimation this number would be 18% if elections were held today; it has almost doubled from 2014.

What we see Now

In sum, vote intention among these important demographic groups is a little bit of mixed bag for Democrats. Millennial support for Democrats has sky-rocketed, while African American support has decreased. Importantly, the margins still look very robust, with clear majorities of both Millennials and African Americans supporting Democratic candidates this cycle. This also means that elevated turnout among these groups, as we have argued elsewhere, are a key condition for a Blue Wave in November.