Republican pollster John Couvillon this week conducted an interview with NPR in which he reveals that his latest research shows that Democrats appear primed to have a “wave” election like they did in 2006.
Specifically, Couvillon says that a surge in Democratic primary turnout in 2018 that dwarfs whatever increase there has been in Republican primary turnout this year.
“What I’m seeing, with the exception of a handful of states, in state after state are huge increases in Democratic turnout relative to the increase in Republican turnout, when you look at 2014 versus 2018 turnout,” he explains. “From looking at primary turnout as evidence of partisan enthusiasm, I’m seeing it on the Democratic side.”
According to Couvillon’s research, 35 states this year had competitive primaries for both Republican and Democratic races. In those states, Democrats cast a total of 53 percent of all ballots, while Republicans cast 47 percent. In contrast, GOP voters cast 56 percent of ballots in 2014 competitive primaries, while Democrats cast only 44 percent.
The 2018 totals compare favorably to 2006, when Democrats cast 54 percent of ballots in states that had competitive primaries for both parties.
Couvillon also says his analysis shows potential major problems for two incumbent Republicans in particular.
“If you’re running behind 2016 levels, that’s instant death if you’re a Pete Sessions (R-TX) or Erik Paulsen (R-MN),” he tells NPR.