There will almost certainly be far more nonvoters than voters this year. Nonvoters are younger, less educated and more financially stressed than likely voters. They are also significantly less Republican and more likely to approve of Obama's job performance.
Millennials continue to be among the strongest backers of Democratic candidates this fall, though their support for the Democratic Party has slipped since 2008. But young voters have given far less thought to the coming elections than have older voters, and this gap is larger than in previous midterms.
While voter preferences for the midterm elections remain closely divided, Republicans now enjoy advantages among typically loyal voting blocs that wavered in 2006 and are doing better with key swing groups. Americans who intend to vote GOP this fall are also far more engaged in the campaign this year.
Older Americans have a more negative view of incumbents, are more likely to vote for a candidate with no elective experience and less likely to support those who compromise than are Americans younger than age 65.