It could be a banner year for field consultants as Democratic turnout appears poised to nose dive.
Without President Obama on the ticket, the party has struggled to turnout his voters. In 2010, for instance, exit polls showed voters under 30 were only 11 percent of the electorate, down from 18 percent two years before. That was the lowest turnout of young voters, a vast majority of which voted for Obama in 2008, in some twenty years. Democrats lost control of the House that year and may have lost the Senate if Republicans had been more selective in their nominations.
Observers are seeing worrying signs for Democrats in this year’s local elections. In the San Diego mayoral recall Tuesday, Kevin Faulconer (R) soundly defeated David Alvarez (D). The Republican took 54.5 percent of the vote despite San Diego being a majority-minority city.
The Hotline‘s Scott Bland, who notes that Faulconer is the only Republican mayor leading one of the 10 largest U.S. cities, writes:
This is a small example of the bigger turnout problem Democrats will face in 2014. Turnout won’t drop as far for the midterms as it does for a special election, but key Democratic groups like young voters and minorities still don’t turn out as well in non-presidential years. That’s why the DSCC is planning such a big investment in field and GOTV programs in an attempt to hold the Senate this year.