DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE
HKS analysts on midterm trends: voters are showing up; issues go beyond economy
HKS experts analyzing the results of the U.S. midterm elections last week identified key trends: people are turning up to vote, and the state of democracy and abortion—along with the economy— are top issues. At an Institute of Politics Forum event, HKS Professor Archon Fung said that “the exit polling showed that voters do care a lot about democracy. ... Some of the candidates who stressed the importance of democracy for this campaign did very well.” Fung also drew attention to the high voter turnout. HKS Professor Cornell Brooks observed that young people, as well as Black people in racially polarized areas, showed up. He called the turnout “a validation and affirmation of democracy.” In a Harvard Gazette conversation, HKS Professor Alex Keyssar said, “Pollsters don’t know how to predict the turnout and especially in an off-year election, when at least half the electorate is not going to show up, what really matters is who shows up.” And HKS Professor Maya Sen, in the same article, said, “Given overriding narratives about the economy, a salient concern was also about abortion.”
Also see: Resources for understanding the post-Roe landscape from the HKS Women and Public Policy Program.