DES MOINES, Iowa -- Democrats are more politically activated than Republicans who are likely to vote in 2018 midterm elections, according to a national poll by Grinnell College.
The poll, which surveyed 1,002 participants adults including 779 likely voters in the 2018 election, found a partisan gap when it comes to political actions directly related to voter turnout with 50% of likely Democratic voters saying they intend to help others cast ballots in elections in the near future, compared to 34% of Republicans.
Ann Selzer, whose company Selzer & Company partnered with Grinnell for the study, said the partisan divide in the results is "striking."
Selzer says she was inspired to ask questions to measure political engagement in this era marked by rallies, marches and blue and red "waves."
“One young voter said ‘we’ve been woke’ – that is, 'we’ve become politically activated,'" Selzer said.
The results, she said, show that more Democrats than Republicans are making plans for concrete political involvement.
"[In the poll], there were items about helping others register to vote and helping others cast votes. That’s kind of a shoe leather approach to what’s happening that could lead to new people showing up to polls that might not have voted before," Selzer said.
40% of Democrats polled said they expect to help register others to vote, compared to 29% of Republicans.
Data from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office shows between May and September more people across the board registered to vote. The sharpest increases in voter registration were from Democrats in Iowa’s First and Third Congressional districts, where Republican Congressmen Rod Blum and David Young are up for re-election. National analysts say those races are tough, and the seats could turn blue.
Selzer said the results from the national poll indicate change could be on the horizon after the midterm elections, but, she noted, Republicans have a history the ability to draw out their base in "enormously large" numbers.
"I can’t say this is all over. Lots of time yet," she said.