Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Last Day to Register to Vote in Ohio is October 11th

On the outside chance someone reading this blog is actually not registered to vote for this year’s general election, the last day to do so is October 11, 2022. Go here for information on how to register.

Monday, September 05, 2022

There are Signs of Hamilton County Turnout Being Strong in 2022

There is no easy way to estimate voter turnout.  It varies by election and by location.  One factor that can be an indicator is voter registration.  I've done a simple analysis for Hamilton County of the voter registrations on the current listing and have compared the 2018 voter registrations to the 2022 voter registrations YTD though July.

This data has some limitations.  The first seven months of the year is not the height of registration, that happens in September and very early October. My reason for limiting the analysis to the first seven months of year is largely due to is where we are so far.  Additional problems come from the current registration listing.  This does not include those who are no longer listed as registered in Hamilton County.  It also does not include all of the rejected registrations as the time. Also, these registrations may not be new, they could be re-registrations. I chose 2018 to compare as it was the last Midterm election and as one that was very strong for Democrats. That time frame makes 2018 a skewed year as well, but the last Midterm election before that, 2014, was even more skewed as that year was nationally some of the lowest turnout ever, but locally it was influenced by a county wide ballot issue. With all of these flaws in mind, I still see two key inferences to make about this data.

First is the obvious: the registration totals are down in 2022 as compared to 2018.  This is important because 2018 was an increase turnout year for a Midterm and for Democrats.  A lower number of registrations would be a consideration of lower voter enthusiasm.  The part of the year is not the peak registration period, so the numbers could still raise, but the numbers were high in August through early October of 2018.  Registration increases is also a very limited indication of voter enthusiasm, especially since in 2020 voter registration was very high and those registrations are still valid.  More people have moved, so that also is a consideration on these numbers.  All in all, I would discount the comparison to 2018.  2018 brought in many new voters and there registration would have stay around, especially if they voted in 2020.  While there is no definitive data to support it, I would say the 2022 registrations only being down YTD by 6% and the surge in June and July are a good signs for higher turnout and voter enthusiasm.

The second issue requires more digging into the numbers.  Voter enthusiasm is often driven by issues and 2022 has Abortion as that issue.  The Dobbs Decision was announced on June 24, 2022. Additionally, a leak of that decision was widely reported in early May.  The registration numbers in 2022 started to spike in May and continued to be even higher higher in June and July than in 2018. That is a sign that the YTD differences in registrations may change and that 2022 will exceed or at least match 2018.  Add to that the fact that registration and turnout increased with the 2020 election, new voters are still increasing, pointing to 2022 having similarities with 2018 here in Hamilton County.

The next level of digging looks at the generational swing starting immediately after the June 24th announcement of the Dobbs decision.

There is a clear shift in the generational breakdown after the Dobbs discussion was announced. The increase in Millennials and Zoomers logically ties to polling on abortion rights, where younger aged people are even great supporters of reproductive rights than older generations. This is evidence that supports the reports of increases in women registering to vote in Ohio since Dobbs.  The data I have does not include sex, so I can't directly confirm this conclusion, but logically, the Dobbs motivation would be a key driver to both younger generations and women in general.

Taken together, these are signs that voter enthusiasm has increased and that should translate to stronger turnout.  This does not answer to what level or how consistent turnout will be in all demographic groups, but for anyone expecting low turnout, there are few signs of that in Hamilton County. If turnout in Hamilton County and especially in the City of Cincinnati reach the level of 2018, that would favor Democratic candidates in the County.  Additionally, it would give the Dems strong support in the 1st Congressional district.  That district includes only part of Hamilton County and but all of Warren County, which I have not analyzed.  This data supports Dems being confident in a district being reported as a toss up, but with a slight tilt of Biden support.  The campaign to get the vote out will be the factor in the 1st district above all else.