Republicans have contacted 90 million voters ahead of midterms, but turnout is way up because of mail-in votes and early votes, not in-person voting. A new survey from GOP pollster Scott McConnell finds that, outside of a few states, turnout in 2018 is actually lower than turnout in 2014.
If you’ve been paying attention, you probably noticed some of these shifts in American politics over the past year. The rise of Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Beto O’Rourke have turned the Democratic party into something we didn’t know we needed to be: a progressive party for the modern world. The rise of Donald Trump has made it clear that Republicans aren’t going to let progressives push their agenda through on their own.
And the GOP’s attempts to thwart progressives’ efforts have had zero effect. But their real plan to stop the progressive revolution is to stop the Democrats in their tracks. This effort has been underway for decades in a quiet war of attrition. But in 2017, in the face of a rapidly changing electorate, it has suddenly become more visible and more direct.
Republicans have begun pushing voters to go to the polls in more states with new voting restrictions. They’re introducing new restrictions on early voting. They’re turning to state legislatures and local government in various ways to pass stricter forms of voting.
These new laws are aimed not only at slowing the growth of the progressive movement, but also at stopping its eventual electoral effect. More broadly, Republicans have decided to push voters to the polls for midterm elections, as if they were the equivalent of having their picture taken with the Post and Courier as opposed to going to college.
If we could get a better picture of the overall effects of these various developments, we might be able to see how the GOP is trying to slow down progress and make America ever less progressive.
A lot of the most notable GOP election-season actions have come during early voting and early-bird voting periods. In Florida, for example, Republicans are pushing to block early voting altogether. The Florida Supreme Court struck down a law that prevented people from voting until the Friday before Election Day.
But, in states where Republicans have pushed early voting to its limit, it’s never had an impact on the