At this stage in the 2018 election cycle, half (50%) of Americans report that they are absolutely certain to vote in the upcoming midterm election, while 16% say they will probably vote. Roughly one-third (32%) of the public give themselves no better than a 50-50 chance of voting, including 12% who say they are definitely not voting.
At the same time in 2014, a remarkably similar number of Americans reported they were committed to voting. About half (51%) of the public said they were absolutely certain to vote in the 2014 midterm election.
Republicans and Democrats are about equally likely to say they are sure to vote this year (59% vs. 56%). In 2014, Republicans held a considerable edge. More than two-thirds (68%) of Republicans, compared to only about half (51%) of Democrats, said they were absolutely certain to vote in 2014.
The generation gap in reported voting intent is massive. Only 28% of young adults say they are absolutely certain they will vote in the 2018 election compared to 74% of seniors.
Notably, white (56%) and black (52%) Americans are about equally likely to say they are absolutely certain to vote this year. Fewer than one-third (31%) of Hispanic Americans report being absolutely certain about casting a ballot in the coming election. There are sizable differences between white Americans by education level. More than two-thirds (68%) of white Americans with a four-year college degree are absolutely certain they will vote, compared to fewer than half (49%) of those without a four-year college education.
However, black Americans are more likely than white Americans to say their close friends are planning on voting in the 2018 congressional election. More than seven in ten black Americans say all of their friends (27%) or most of their friends (45%) will be voting in the coming election. A majority of white Americans report that all (10%) or most (46%) of their friends will be voting. Fewer than half of Hispanic Americans report that all (12%) or most (29%) of their friends will be voting.
The good news is that 50% turnout with another third saying 50-50 that they'd vote in a midterm election would be phenomenal for the Democrats and a tsunami for Team Blue.
The bad news is that these numbers were similar to 2014, and turnout four years ago was the worst midterm showing since WWII at 36%. A whole lot of people in this poll are dirty liars who won't vote, tens of millions of them.
Still, Republicans have the advantage here. The real issue: only 28% of young adults say they are certain to vote. If a third or more of them are lying too, then November is going to be rather disappointing. It depends on which America shows up to the polls.
We'll see. I have to believe that Americans are going to vote in four months, because if we don't, we're done.