Americans who won’t be voting on Election Day are very different from likely voters: They’re younger, more racially diverse and more financially strapped.
How many Americans are likely to vote, and which voters in the survey are the likely voters? Important as these questions are, there is almost no consensus among the pollsters as to how to identify each of these groups.
Voters are reporting roughly similar levels of contact from political campaigns and groups as four years ago, but the share of voters who say they have received a phone call about the election has fallen 12 points since mid-October 2010, from 59% to 47%.
Republicans hold a clear advantage in voter engagement in this fall’s midterm elections, but it is more modest than it was in 2010. And anti-incumbent sentiment remains high.
Voter turnout, no matter how measured, is consistently lower in midterm elections compared to presidential election years. Political scientists aren't sure why, but have some ideas.