As President Biden made his final pitch to voters before the midterms at a rally in Maryland Monday night, the early voting tally had already reached 44 million. Today, the rest of the nation casts their ballots in the midterm elections that will decide who controls the House and Senate, as well as 36 governorships.
Among the most influential groups of voters this cycle are women, who turned out in a show of force in 2020. However a recent WSJ poll showed that white suburban women – a key group of midterm voters – have shifted support from Democrats to Republicans in the last days of midterm campaigning due to concerns about inflation and the economy.
The survey, conducted in October, included almost 300 suburban white women and saw a 15 point shift favoring GOP candidates in congressional races. A previous August poll by the Journal indicated white suburban women preferred Democrats by 12 percentage points.
All In Together CEO Lauren Leader and Political strategist and pollster Frank Luntz joined “Morning Joe” on Tuesday to discuss the electoral power of women voters and what the latest polls might mean for the future of both parties.
“I think we’re going to see some record numbers,” Leader told “Morning Joe” hosts Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist on women heading to the polls. “There was concern earlier that maybe they wouldn’t be as high as some of the record turnout elections, [but] I think this is an election people are paying attention to.”
Luntz pointed to the districts representing high percentages of Latino voters. “There are significant blocks [of Hispanic voters] that have been ignored and forgotten for some time, they are participating now,” he said on the show. “In the past Republicans have gotten between 28 to 38 percent of the Hispanic vote. I’m expecting them to get 40 to 45 percent.”
Indeed, the 2022 National Latino Voter Tracking Poll noted that 29 percent of Latino voters have already voted in this year’s midterm election cycle. The poll also said that nearly half of Latino voters will vote in this cycle. According to the Pew Research Center, an estimated 34.5 million Latinos are eligible to vote in 2022, up 4.7 million from 2018.
For Leader, an overlooked constituency to watch are independent women voters in close races, like Colorado’s 3rd Congressional district where Trump-backed GOP incumbent Lauren Boebart is seeking re-election. “Democrats have really held their own with independent women,” she said. “And those turnout numbers, when we look at the early voting, all the models show it’s heavily driven by women, heavily driven by a lot of those folks that registered this summer since the Dobbs decision … It’s a turnout election and high turnout elections favor Democrats."
Leader added: “Women are going to be driving this election, just as they have every election since 1980. They will be the deciders.”