Intermediate elections: That's how the US voters tick

Intermediate elections: That's how the US voters tick

Before the important "midterms", people in the US are much more politically involved than in past interim elections. This has to do mainly with the controversial man in the White House. An overview in graphics.


From Thorsten Denkler, Washington

For nearly 30 years, the US pollsters from the Pew Research Center have failed to measure such figures: About 60 percent of registered US voters want the reigning one in the midterm elections on 6 November, especially for (26 percent) or against (33 percent) Presidents vote. Taking into account those who are registered as independent, but tend to a party, even 50 percent show themselves as followers of the Democrats, 42 percent are behind the Republicans. The incumbent has always been a dominant factor in interim elections. But Donald Trump polarizes the masses apparently exceptionally strong.

The midterm elections (Midterm elections), in which the House of Representatives and about a third of the senators are elected, so goes above all to a vote on Trump, even if it is not on the ballot. Hundreds of Republicans, who had to ask the question in the primaries, how to stand with Trump run for it. Opponents of the president had almost no chance to win.

But who are the voters who will decide in a few days whether the Republicans will retain the majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives? Or whether the Democrats can win back at least one of the two chambers and thus make it considerably more difficult for Trump to govern?

About 230 million of the 325 million people in the US are eligible to vote. However, the turnout in the US is always quite low, despite elaborate and expensive election campaigns. In presidential elections about 60 percent of those entitled still vote. To the midterms usually only 40 percent participate. That could be different this year.

In the "suburbs", the choice decides

Angry women, home visits, politicians at the kitchen table: The US congressional elections are won in the suburbs. Impressions from a campaign that is about more than Donald Trump.

By Alan Cassidy

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The mood is heated up. The places where voters can register register record numbers. The turnout could be so much higher this time than in previous intermediate elections. At the moment, it looks like it's an advantage for the Democrats.

What still worries the Republicans is that women are increasingly turning to Democrats. In 1994, it was 48 percent. 56 percent last year.

And 54 percent of college-graded voters would vote more for a Democrat than a Republican.

But the Trump Republicans have among white voters with at most a high school diploma with 58 percent as good approval ratings, as in 20 years, not more.

To find out, the researchers at the Pew Research Center conducted more than 10 000 interviews with registered voters last year. They also noted that for the first time since 2009, about half of respondents would vote for the Democrats.

An electoral victory is not sure yet. That showed the election in 2016. Trump could become president, although he could win three million votes less than his counterpart Hillary Clinton. The pure majority voting in the US can also in the midterms As a result, Democrats across the country are seeing significantly more votes than Republicans – and yet miss the majority in the House and Senate. This happens when constituency electoral Democrats put in a much larger number than is necessary to win, while in other constituencies Republicans are narrowly victorious.

The demographics of the United States have changed radically over the past two decades. This is also reflected in the voting behavior: The majority of voters are still whites (69 percent). However, today, 29 percent of registered voters are labeled as black, Hispanic or Asian according to their ethnic characteristics or background. In 1997 it was still 16 percent.

In these groups, however, the sympathy for the Democrats is much more pronounced than for the Republicans. 39 percent of democratic voters today are not white (1997: 24 percent). The proportion of non-white Republican voters, however, is only 14 percent (1997: 8 percent).

A comparison of age groups shows that Republicans have failed to win over younger generations. They are only among those voters before the Democrats, who were born between 1928 and 1945. In all other age groups, the Democrats lead more or less clearly.

The millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, were already mostly democratically minded when they were allowed to vote for the first time. Since then, however, the gap with the Republicans has increased. 53 percent for Democrats to 38 percent for Republicans were in 2002. Today it stands 59 percent against 32 percent.

One of Republican backers remains the white evangelical Christians. Today, 77 percent of this group would vote for the Republicans, only 18 percent for the Democrats. In 1994, the gap was significantly lower at 61 to 31 percent. He grew steadily ever since.

Catholics are still mostly on the side of the Democrats. But the gap has narrowed by 47 percent to 46 percent to one percentage point. And among white, non-Hispanic Catholics, Republicans have clearly been ahead of the Democrats since 2010. In 2017, it was 54 percent to 40 percent. The Hispanic Catholics have a clear preference for the Democrats.

The differences in voting behavior between city and country are becoming increasingly clear. In urban areas, 62 percent of registered voters feel close to the Democrats and only 31 percent to the Republicans. In 1999, the gap was narrower: 55 percent were supporters of the Democrats, 37 percent voted Republican. The further it goes out into the country, the more the situation is reversed. In the suburbs, the numbers of supporters of Democrats and Republicans are still on par. In the countryside, however, 54 percent are more inclined to the Republicans and only 38 percent to the Democrats. 20 years ago, the Democrats were just barely 45 to 44 percent.

But what do voters in the US expect from the parties? Here, the differences between Democrats and Republicans could hardly be greater. Hardly any topic is considered equally important by supporters of both sides. Climate change? Of Democrats' supporters, 72 percent consider it a big problem, but only 11 percent of Republicans. Gun violence is viewed by 81 percent of supporters of Democratic candidates for an important issue, but only 25 percent of Republicans. Similar gaps can be found when racism, poverty, sexism, equal opportunities or access to health care or the labor market are called into question.

Relatively unanimous sympathizers of both sides are merely that they consider the drug crisis or the horrendous budget deficit of the United States for problems that should be urgently addressed.

The numbers show that the election for the Democrats is far from won and for the Republicans is far from lost. In order to win elections in the country, the Democrats must set up conservative candidates. The Republicans, on the other hand, need moderate candidates for the cities if they want to win there. Which party succeeds better to consider these conditions among the voters, will show itself only on 6 November.

Trump lies and rushes, because it was useful to him before

The Americans are redefining part of their parliament in the midterms. But because much is at stake for the president, he insides on the election campaign.

Comment by Hubert Wetzel

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