In non-presidential election years, Americans lose a bit of their zeal to make their voice heard at the polls.
Historically, voter turnout in midterm elections reaches only about 40 percent, while turnout jumps to 50-60 percent when we select presidents.
There are signs, however, that the 2018 midterm may generate presidential election-type numbers. And it looks like Democrats – fueled by their opposition to President Trump – are most eager to cast their ballots.
According to a recent Washington Post-Schar School poll, 58 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say that it is “extremely” important to vote in November’s midterm elections, while just 38 percent of Republican-leaners feel the same.
Meanwhile, a pair of polls (Quinnipiac University, Kaiser Family Foundation) released Wednesday found that respondents favor turning control of Congress over to Democrats by a 12-point margin.
And in yet another troubling sign for the GOP, here in Connecticut, and throughout the country, Democrats are out-pacing Republicans in voter registration.
Data from the Connecticut Secretary of State's office shows that from the 2016 election through June of this year, 81,908 new voters registered as Democrats in our state, compared to 43,390 who registered as Republicans.
Clearly, the Democrats are energized.
Gary Rose, head of the political science department at Sacred Heart University, said the rise in Democratic voters is an indication of "a Democratic Party fired up over Trump."
Ron Schurin, a political science professor at the University of Connecticut, echoed that assessment.
"People are more intensely politically involved in this off year," Schurin said, adding that the increased voter rolls are "clearly related to a reaction to Donald Trump."
November is still a ways off, and the political winds can change in an instant, but right now it looks like a blue wave may be on the horizon.