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Midterm Elections Turnout Hits Record 49%


The Fishlinger Center forecast was 44-48% within a percentage point

A week before the election, the Fishlinger Center projected that turnout for the midterm congressional elections would be between 44 and 48 % of eligible voters. It was 49%.

Using a combination of historical and survey data the Center’s model predicted that the turnout could exceed both 2010 and 2014.

2010 – 40.9%
2014 – 36.4%
2018 – 49.0%
Source: U.S. Elections Project

The method used for forecasting turnout proved to be extremely accurate both for the 2016 Presidential Election and the recent 2018 congressional midterm elections. This time, the situation was even more complex. The key unknowns were the degree of a “blue wave” driven by women, minorities and millennials, the post-Kavanaugh effect, as well as the President’s hard line on Immigration strategy.

Survey Methodology
In this study, the Fishlinger Center conducted online national surveys focusing on political issues in the United States. The fieldwork for the poll was conducted using a blended national panel form Survey Sampling, Inc. Interviews were conducted October 1-29, 2018. The credibility interval for 1,000 respondents is plus or minus four percentage points. The credibility interval is larger for subgroups and for differences between polls.

In addition to credibility interval, the polls are subject to other potential sources of error including, but not limited to coverage and measurement error. Data were rim weighted to match the national population on age, sex, Hispanic origin and race. Question wording and topline results are available at

About the Fishlinger Center for Public Policy 
The Fishlinger Center for Public Policy Research opened in February 2015 at the University of Mount Saint Vincent. The Center conducts deep and broad studies of public opinion on key public policy concerns through independent and objective research conducted by students, faculty, and other members of the academic community.

By providing a forum for discourse that can stimulate intelligent dialog about issues that deeply affect all Americans, the Center illustrates and enhances the relationship between the work of the College and the common good.

James F. Donius, Ph.D., director of the Fishlinger Center for Public Policy Research at the University of Mount Saint Vincent, is available to speak to members of the press about the survey, the Fishlinger Optimism Index™, and the Center. To arrange an interview, or for more information about the study, please contact Public Relations at

About the University of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the University of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational, and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment and leadership in the 21st century.