Over the course of surveying voters for the new Washington Post/ABC News poll previewing the November elections, one anticipated trend appeared: Voting groups that are more likely to support Republicans also indicated that they were more likely to turn out to vote in 20 days' time.
This has been the watchword for Democrats the entire year. Midterm elections usually see lighter voting by groups that are key parts of the Democratic base: young people and people of color, for example. Our new poll suggests that 2014 probably won't stray very far from that tradition.
On the generic ballot -- that is, who voters prefer, the Democrat or the Republican in their House districts -- Democrats do better among registered voters, earning 46 percent support to the Republicans' 44. But among likely voters, people who said they were more likely to come out and vote this November, that shifts nine (!) points to the right. Republicans are favored by half of that group, while Democrats earn 43 percent support. From plus-two to minus-seven. That's the problem.
We broke out the likelihood that various groups will turn out this November and plotted it against the level of support they showed for one party or the other. It looks like this. (Click the tabs at the top to change demographic group.)
A few things to note here. Click the "Education" tab and you can see the one bright spot for Democrats: people with post-graduate educations, who prefer Democrats by a large margin and are also a group that says it will turn out. Of course, it's also a much smaller group than, say, college graduates, who prefer Republican candidates by a 20-point margin.
Under "Race" and "Gender," you see a clear illustration of the Democratic turnout challenge for the next few weeks. Women slightly prefer Democrats to Republicans, so boosting turnout among that group has to be a priority. And non-white voters strongly prefer Democrats, but are much less likely to get to the polls. Likewise with young people, on the "Age" tab. The older the voter, the more likely he or she is to vote Republican and to turn out this November.
None of this is a surprise, as mentioned above. But there is one bit of bad news for Democrats that's new. They've put a big priority on getting their base to commit to turning out in three weeks. So far, it doesn't seem as though it's been very effective.