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40 million fewer people expected to vote in 2018, study finds

The Hill logo The Hill 7/20/2017 Max Greenwood
40 million fewer people expected to vote in 2018, study finds © Provided by The Hill 40 million fewer people expected to vote in 2018, study finds Roughly 40 million people who voted in the 2016 presidential election will not cast ballots in the 2018 midterm elections, according to a new report released Thursday.

The study, conducted by the Washington-based research firm Lake Research Partners and released by The Voter Participation Center, found that among the 40 million Americans expected not to vote in 2018, nearly two-thirds are considered part of the "Rising American Electorate" (RAE) - a block consisting of millennials, unmarried women and people of color, who account for more than half of the country's eligible voters.

Among those not considered part of the RAE, some 14.4 million fewer will take part in the 2018 elections, the study found.

Millennials, which the report defines as people between the ages of 18 and 34, will see the biggest decline in voter participation, with 17.2 million fewer people casting ballots.

Likewise, unmarried women are set to see a significant drop off in turnout, with 11.1 million fewer people voting in 2018 than in 2016.

Among the states projected to be the hardest hit by dwindling RAE voter turnouts are Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia. That drop off, Lake Research President Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster, said, could have a heavy impact on some races.

"We are looking at nearly 40 million missing voters in the 2018 election," Lake said in a statement announcing the study's release. "These are record high numbers, and, particularly in this upcoming election cycle, expected drop-off voters can make or break races."

The voter drop offs could be particularly influential in states like Nevada and Virginia, both of which have Senate races in 2018.

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) is considered one of the most vulnerable Republican senators up for reelection next year. And in Virginia, Sen. Tim Kaine (D) faces a challenge from Republican Corey Stewart, a bombastic campaigner and fiery backer of President Trump who narrowly lost the GOP nomination for Virginia governor in June.


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