Negative Emotions are the Key Turnout Catalyst for Mid-Term Elections

Mid-term elections are often about voting against something. For example, the historic Republican gains in the 1994 mid-term elections were about voter frustrations with the liberal policies of the Clinton administration, especially a failed attempt at health care reform. Not since the calm and decisive leadership of President George W. Bush in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks inspired scores of GOP candidates in fall 2002 to run as Bush allies, have candidates of either party run with their close ties to the President as a key theme in their campaign. The 2018 cycle will be no different.

This latest Battleground Poll fielded during a typically tumultuous week for President Trump, August 13th through the 17th. This was a week filled with talk that the United States was engaged in a potentially cataclysmic showdown with North Koreas that even included coded talk about the possibility of the use of nuclear weapons. In addition, just one day prior to the beginning of fielding, President Trump provided remarks that many saw as insufficient regarding racially motivated crimes in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Despite this poor cycle of earned media, Republican candidates begin this 2018 election season in a political environment that is at worst, mixed. CONT. – pdf

Ed Goeas & Brian Nienaber, Tarrance Group