Let’s add some context: “record voter turnout” for the 2018 midterm elections is still less than half of America’s registered voters.
How does that number stack up to past elections? CBS News reports:
An estimated 113 million people participated in the 2018 midterm elections, making this the first midterm in history to exceed over 100 million votes, with 49 percent of eligible voters participating in the election. By comparison, the 2014 midterm elections had one of the lowest turnouts in American history, with only 36.4 percent of eligible voters participating. In 2010, the first midterm of President Obama’s tenure, 41 percent of voters participated.
University of Florida associate professor Michael McDonald, who oversees the Election Project, told “Red & Blue” on CBSN last week that the last time voter turnout reached 49 percent was in the 1966 midterm elections.
“In the last three decades, we’ve had about 40 percent of those eligible to vote participating in midterm elections. If we get in the upper end of that range, if we can beat the 1966 49-percent turnout rate, you’d have to go all the way back to 1914 to get a turnout rate above 50 percent,” McDonald said last week.
Keep in mind: that’s only out of registered voters, not all Americans eligible to vote. Watch the video above for more information about how few Americans exercise their voting rights, and possible reasons why they are staying home from the polls.