Where voter turnout exceeded 2018 highs

A smaller share of Americans voted in these midterm elections than the last, but in some states, voter enthusiasm exceeded the high mark set in 2018, according to a Washington Post analysis of Associated Press and U.S. Elections Project data.

2022 votes cast as a share of the
voting eligible population

30%3540455055% or more









Exceeds 2018 turnout

Note: Expected vote totals are used where fewer than 97 percent of votes have been counted.

Votes are still being counted, and in some states, it can take weeks to know the exact number of Americans who voted. But votes counted so far and expected vote totals show divergent turnout rates across states.

Turnout was especially high for a midterm in several battleground states, where expectations of a close contest appeared to boost voter participation. Voter turnout in Pennsylvania exceeded 2018 by nearly four percentage points. About 6 in 10 eligible voters in Wisconsin and Michigan cast a ballot.

But in a handful of states, voter enthusiasm fell far below 2018 levels and was more on par with the record lows seen in 2014. In Mississippi and West Virginia, less than 35 percent of eligible voters participated. In New Jersey and Maryland, turnout is anticipated to be 10 percentage points lower than 2018.

This election failed to bring in the record share of voters who came out in the 2018 midterms, as a blue wave washed over the suburbs in response to Donald Trump’s first two years in office, but turnout is still on track to easily surpass other recent midterms.

Fewer voters typically show up for midterms than general elections, and this year was no different. Turnout in 2020 soared to a modern record, propelled by high stakes and expanded voter access because of the coronavirus pandemic.

About this story

Turnout rates are calculated by dividing the number of votes by the voting-eligible population. The 2022 vote count is from the Associated Press. In states where less than 97 percent of the vote has been counted, expected vote totals, also provided by the Associated Press, were used. Previous year vote counts are from the U.S. Elections Project, which also provided the voting-eligible population figures.

Turnout is based on votes for the “highest office.” Vote totals for each state come from the statewide office — governor or Senate — with the most votes. Where there are no gubernatorial or Senate races, votes for each House race in the state are summed. More information on the methodology can be found at the U.S. Elections Project.