Using exit poll data by the National Election Pool, as reported by CNN, Pew Research Center determined that “The stark demographic and educational divisions that have come to define
American politics were clearly evident in voting preferences in the
2018 congressional elections.”
Reporting for Pew on November 8, 2018, Alec Tyson describes those divisions:
- Nationally, voters favored Democratic candidates for Congress over
Republican candidates by a margin of about 7%.
- Gender: Women generally favored Democratic candidates by 19% (59% to 40%) while men voted for Republicans 51% to
47%. As was the case in the 2016 presidential election, white men voted
Republican by a wide margin (60% to 39%) while white women were evenly divided
(49% favored Democrats; 49% supported Republicans).
- Race: Whereas Whites favored Republicans over Democrats by 54% vs. 44%, Blacks voted overwhelmingly (90%) for Democrats,
including comparable shares of black men (88%) and black women (92%). Hispanics favored Democrats over Republicans 69% v. 29%. Asians favored Democrats over Republicans 77% v. 23%.
- College education: When gender, race and education are considered together, women college
graduates stand out for their strong preference for the Democratic
candidate (59% favored the Democrat while just 39% voted Republican).
Whites with less education – particularly men – supported the
Republican. White men who do not have a college degree voted Republican
by about two-to-one (66% to 32%).
- Age: The age divide in voting, which barely existed in the early 2000s, also
is large. Majorities of voters ages 18 to 29 (67%) and 30 to 44 (58%)
favored the Democratic candidate. Voters ages 45 and older were divided
(50% Republican, 49% Democrat).
- Trump: The national exit poll found that more voters said their midterm vote
was to oppose Trump (38%) than said it was to support him (26%); 33%
said Trump was not a factor in their vote. The midterm vote also was
highly correlated with views of Trump’s job performance: Among those who
approved of the president (45% of all voters), 88% voted for the
Republican. Among the larger share who disapproved (54%), an
overwhelming percentage voted Democratic (90%).
- Anti-White: Overall, 41% of voters said whites in the country today are favored over
minorities; 19% said that minorities are favored over whites, while 33%
said that no group is favored. Among those who said whites are favored in the U.S., 87% voted for
Democrats. By contrast, large majorities of those who said minorities
are favored (85%) or that no group is favored (69%) voted for Republican
- #MeToo: 72% of those who said sexual harassment it is a very serious problem supported Democratic
candidates. Among those who said it was a somewhat serious problem,
Republican candidates held a slim edge (50% vs. 48%). And while
relatively few voters said sexual harassment is not too serious a
problem (11%), this group voted overwhelmingly Republican (79% vs. 20%).
In a report on November 7, 2018, Pew Research found that “A preliminary analysis of the 2018 midterm elections finds considerable
continuity from 2014 and 2010 in the voting patterns of several key religious groups“:
- Three-quarters (75%) of white voters who describe themselves as
evangelical or born-again Christians (a group that includes Protestants,
Catholics and members of other faiths) voted for Republican House
- 7-in-10 no religions voted for the Democratic candidate in their congressional district.
- 8-in-10 Jewish voters (79%) cast their ballots for Democrats.
- This year, Catholic voters were evenly split between the parties: 50%
favored the Democratic candidate for Congress in their district, while
49% favored the GOP’s nominee. In the past two midterm elections (2014
and 2010), however, Catholics had favored Republican candidates by margins
of roughly 10%.
- Among Protestants, 56% voted for Republican congressional candidates and
42% backed Democrats.
- Among those who identify with faiths other than
Christianity and Judaism (including Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and many
others), 73% voted for Democratic congressional candidates while 25%
- Church attendance: Voters who say they attend religious services at least once a week
backed Republican candidates over Democrats in their congressional
districts by an 18-point margin. Those who attend services less often
tilted in favor of the Democratic Party, including two-thirds (68%) of those who say they never attend worship services.
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