Primary engagement bodes well for GOP in November

Empower Wisconsin | Sept. 21, 2022

Political engagement is running hotter for Republicans than Democrats, at least in this year’s primaries. And that bodes well for conservatives in the midterms ahead.

Michael Ginsberg from the Daily Caller reports: 

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.

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.

In Wisconsin, the enthusiasm edge goes to the Republicans, leading Democrats 93% to 92% among respondents who say they are absolutely certain or very likely to vote in November’s election, according to the latest Marquette University Law School Poll. That’s down from August, though, when 94% of Republicans said they were absolutely certain or very likely to vote compared to 90% for Democrats.

The Marquette poll had Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, and Republican businessman Tim Michels in a tight race, with Evers up (47% to 44%) among likely voters — well within the 4.9 percent margin of error. Republican  U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson edged ahead of Democrat challenger, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (49% to 48%), surging 8 percentage points among likely voters since the August poll.

A new Spectrum News/Siena College poll released Tuesday shows Evers ahead of Michels by 5 percentage points (49% to 44%) and Barnes just ahead of Johnson (48% to 47%). The poll of 651 likely voters, was conducted Sept. 14-15 and has a margin of error rate of plus or minus 4.5%.

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

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