A predicted record turnout could help Democrats secure the election, as Trump drives minorities and younger voters to the polls, according to a report by Axios.
Voting rates in the upcoming presidential election could reach 67 percent -- the highest since 1916, said Michael McDonald, an elections expert at the University of Florida. That rate would also be 7 percentage points higher than the one recorded in 2016, he added.
McDonald’s prediction is based on the 50 percent turnout recorded in the 2018 midterm elections -- the highest off-year voting rate in close to 100 years. Before 2018, midterm election voting rates hovered around 40 percent since 1974.
Some states made it easier to vote in 2018, which may partially explain the increase. However, higher rates were observed even in states that made no changes to their voting laws, said McDonald.
Higher turnout rates could mean a tougher road ahead for the president’s reelection, according to Axios. Trump is driving younger voters and minorities to vote, even when he is not on the ballot. On the other hand, older white voters (one of the president’s core constituencies) are already voting at very high rates, which makes substantial turnout increases in this group unlikely.
"The safest prediction in politics is for a giant turnout in 2020. Nobody's going to believe the polls after 2016, and everyone will assume a tight race," said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s center for politics.