Turnout for the November election could be high, if the voters follow the lead of respondents to a Reporter Newspapers community survey.
About six in 10 of the 200 respondents said they are more likely to vote in the November election than in past elections. And more than a third of the people who responded that they weren’t more likely to vote this time said that was only because they vote in every election anyway.
The survey was conducted by 1Q.com via cellphones to residents in Reporter Newspapers communities. The results are not scientific.
Why do so many plan to vote this November when they otherwise might give the ballot box a pass? “The U.S. is in a mess,” a 34-year-old Buckhead woman said.
Dozens of other respondents appeared to agree, and they offered a variety of reasons for their beliefs. In fact, responses illustrate just how divided our politics is now.
“There’s so much noise from extremists that level-headed, thinking people need to step up and exercise their right to vote to keep things on track and moving forward,” a 64-year-old north Atlanta woman said. “I want to be sure and express my preference for intelligent public servant leadership and not power-hungry career politicians!”
Others were more bluntly partisan in their responses. Many said they planned to vote because of their feelings about President Donald Trump.
“I will vote Nov. 6,” a 46-year-old man said. “[I] didn’t vote in previous years, but we need someone to offset what Trump is doing.”
However, a 33-year-old Sandy Springs woman wrote she would vote because “I want to keep Republicans in power.”
Respondents to the survey were fairly evenly divided among political parties. About 30 percent were Republicans, about 27 percent Democrats and about 30 percent independents. About 13 percent identify as “other.”
When asked to name the issue that most motivated them, respondents, taken together, provided a list that touched on just about every imaginable political debate.
Their responses ranged from the economy to immigration, from healthcare to welfare reform, from gun safety to women’s rights, from international trade to local education, from impeaching President Trump to keeping Democrats out of office.
Several respondents listed the controversy over the appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, while others said they were interested in the election of a new governor in Georgia. And a 37-year-old Dunwoody woman said she was motivated by “every single issue.”
Several respondents who said they were no more likely to vote this election than in past ones said they thought casting a ballot was pointless. “Voting has little effect on actual legislation,” a 41-year-old Atlanta man wrote. “Republicans and Democrats are on the same team against our freedoms.”
And a 52-year-old north Atlanta man said, “I’m so disillusioned with our political process that by and large, I’ve stopped paying attention.”
But many respondents seemed eager to head to the polls. This election, several said, would count more than others had in the past.
One 19-year-old Sandy Springs woman noted the reason she was more likely to vote in the election this November than in prior ones was simple:
“Because I’m finally old enough to vote.”
Here’s what some of the other respondents had to say when asked whether they were more likely to vote in November than in past elections
“The Left is getting ridiculous and it scares me to see how they want to throw away the fundamental tenants of our civilization, such as truth, jurisprudence and free speech.”
–50-year-old Sandy Springs man
“I’m not ‘more likely’ because I always vote. I think voting is a privilege and you should exercise that privilege every opportunity you get, regardless of the current situation or your desired results.”
–52-year-old Sandy Springs/Buckhead woman
“Yes, I always vote, but these midterms are especially crucial in ensuring our administration is checked and held accountable, and that human rights are protected.”
–23-year-old Buckhead woman
“Trump and the Republicans are lunatics.”
–30-year-old Atlanta man
“I believe it is even more important to vote now to protect the civil liberties that our so-called president and the right-wing members of Congress wish to roll back.”
–27-year-old Atlanta woman
“I feel that the Republicans must maintain control to advance our conservative agenda. Things are going very well with the economy and I am fearful of what will happen if the Democrats take control. If you can ignore all of the noise coming from the media about the discontent of America, I think the reality is that most people are happier and more optimistic about their economic position today than they were four years ago.”
–40-year-old Atlanta man
“No. The media has ruined politics.”
–25-year-old Buckhead man
“Definitely. With stakes this high, I wouldn’t miss it.”
–37-year-old Atlanta woman
1Q is an Atlanta-based start-up that sends questions and surveys to a cellphone via app or text messages. Respondents are paid 50 cents per answer, through PayPal, for sharing their opinions. Payments may also be donated directly to charity. Sign up to be included in our local community polls at 1Q.com/reporter or by texting “REPORTER” to 86312.