Midterm elections are often decided by which party’s followers don’t turn out to vote.
Republicans stayed home and lost badly in 2006, and the same thing happened to Democrats in 2010. This year, all the signs point to voter fatigue among Democrats, who are dispirited by Obamacare scandals and a weak economy.
Voter turnout matters most in non-presidential elections. Take yesterday’s special election for a state house seat near Norfolk, Va. The district was carried by Barack Obama by ten points in 2012, and Terry McAuliffe won it for Democrats by 48 percent to 46 percent last November. But in yesterday’s lower-turnout election, Republicans romped to a crushing 60 percent victory as Republican businessman Rob Bloxom Jr. defeated Democrat Willie Randall, a former Northampton County supervisor. House speaker William J. Howell said the result was a clear sign that voters in Virginia reject Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion:
Turnout is likely to play a big factor in a special congressional election on March 11 in Florida to fill the vacancy created by the death of Representative Bill Young. A new poll commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows Republican David Jolly ahead of Democrat Alex Sink by 44 percent to 42 percent. A previous independent poll early in February had Sink with a seven-point lead. Obamacare has become the key issue in that race, which is being fought in a St. Petersburg district that Barack Obama carried in both 2008 and 2012.