Dems More Politically Active Ahead of Midterms, Study Finds

(CN) – Members of both major political parties agree that November’s midterm election is very important, but Democratic voters are more fired up than Republicans this cycle, the Pew Research Center reported Thursday.

The Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Associated Press)

Though voters from both parties have consistently indicated the importance of the race in surveys this year, a new study finds Democrats are participating more often in political rallies, fundraising and volunteering.

In a survey of more than 4,500 adults, including 4,000 registered voters, Pew researchers found that Democrats have been consistently more active in politics than their Republican counterparts in nearly every category measured, though most members of each party indicted they are not politically active outside of voting.

Thirty-six percent of Democratic respondents said that they have contacted an elected official in the last year, compared to 28 percent of Republicans surveyed. Democrats were also making more campaign contributions at 23 percent versus 18 percent, and 9 percent of Democrats were volunteering for campaigns, compared to 5 percent of Republicans.

Nearly a quarter (22 percent) of Democratic respondents said they have attended a political rally in the last year, whereas only 8 percent of Republicans said the same.

On social media, Democrats were equally likely to express opposition and support for candidates at 35 percent, though Republicans were more likely to show support for their candidates at 39 percent.

However, researchers found that when added together, 50 percent of all Democratic respondents have engaged in at least one activity in the last year, whereas only 40 percent of Republican respondents have done the same.

White and college-educated Democrats were even more likely to engage in political activism at 57 and 65 percent, respectively.

In contrast, only 45 percent of Republican college graduates and 39 percent of white Republicans have engaged in political activity in the last year, though less than 40 percent of all non-graduates and non-white voters participated in any activities.

Men and women were nearly equally likely to participate in political activity at 43 and 41 percent in the aggregate, respectively. Fifty-one percent of Democratic men and 49 percent of Democratic women participated in political activity, whereas 40 percent of Republican men and 39 percent of Republican women said they participated.

When stratified by both age and party affiliation, researchers found that an increase in age typically indicated an increase in political activity, particularly regarding campaign contributions. Just 13 percent of young Democrats and 8 percent of young Republicans (18 to 34 years old) said they donated money, whereas 35 percent of older Democrats and 26 percent of older Republicans (over 65 years old) reported contributing.

However, the inverse was true for rally attendance – young Republicans were nearly twice as likely to attend a political rally than their older counterparts at 12 percent to 7 percent, respectively. Similarly, 26 percent of young Democrats and 19 percent of older Democrats said they attended rallies.

Republicans were decreasingly likely to volunteer for campaigns with age, as 9 percent of young Republicans said they volunteered and only 5 percent of older Republicans said the same. Democrats were generally more likely to report volunteering in higher age brackets.

Despite the disparity in activism between Democrats and Republicans, most respondents conveyed the importance of the upcoming elections, particularly regarding control of Congress.

Overall, 78 percent of Democrats and 75 percent of Republicans said controlling Congress “really matters.” In fact, the only demographic that did not share this majority opinion were young Republicans, at 44 percent.

Young Democrats disagreed with their Republican counterparts about the importance of controlling Congress by a 25-point margin at 69 percent – the largest margin within any measured demographic in this survey and a strong indication that the Democratic Party has young voters locked in for the midterm elections.

While the Pew data survey is likely a foreboding omen for Republicans, additional data released Thursday by FiveThirtyEight indicates that Democrats have a 75 percent chance of securing a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in November.

FiveThirtyEight expects that Democrats will gain between 14 and 58 seats this election cycle, with 35 seats as the average. They only need a net gain of 23 seats to retake the House.

Overall, the data indicates that Democrats are much more engaged in politics this year, which lends itself to the party likely taking control of the House in November.

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