The Republican "red wave" in the midterm elections in the United States failed to materialize. America's youngest and newest voters, whose turnout looks to be historic, and its minorities – women, African-Americans and Latinos – still threw their support behind Democratic candidates over Republicans. Their goal: the defense of democracy itself. While the final vote count in certain constituencies will not be known for several weeks, not least because the state of Georgia is heading to a special run-off election on December 6, the "democracy" argument seems to have been a key issue that drove voters to the polls.
Our eupinions survey previously showed that more than half of U.S. citizens had concerns about the functioning of their democracy. In another poll by the news organizations NPR and PBS, 42% of Democrats said that preserving democracy was the primary factor driving their voting decisions.
The share of the youth vote (18-29) in this election over the last for Democrats alone was 28% higher – on average, young voters cast their votes for Democratic candidates over Republicans by a double margin. Their high turnout rate was a significant reason why the expected Republican "red wave" did not rise as high as expected. Indeed, it appears to be subsiding further as the counting continues. Even days after the election, the outcome is still neck-and-neck.