Democrats did something virtually unprecedented in the 2018 midterms, and it says a lot about Trump's unpopularity

  • Democrats received roughly 60 million votes for the House in the 2018 midterms, which is roughly equivalent to the number of votes President Donald Trump received in the 2016 election.
  • As Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight pointed out over the weekend, “There’s not any precedent for an opposition party coming this close to matching the president’s vote total from 2 years earlier.”
  • Trump entered the 2018 midterms with the lowest approval rating of any president in modern US history.

The total number of votes Democrats received for the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterms is roughly equivalent to the number of votes President Donald Trump received in the 2016 election, which is virtually unprecedented.

Opposition parties typically do well in midterm elections, which tend to serve as a referendum on the president. In this sense, it’s not entirely shocking Democrats fared well across the country in this year’s elections.


Read more:
Midterms 2018: Democrats took the House and the GOP held the Senate in a wild election night

But as Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight pointed out over the weekend, “There’s not any precedent for an opposition party coming this close to matching the president’s vote total from 2 years earlier. The closest to an exception was when Democratic House candidates in 1970 got 92% of Nixon’s vote total from 1968.”

Simply put, the Democratic Party’s performance in terms of total House votes in the 2018 midterms was exceptional. In Silver’s words, they received a “crazy number” of votes.

Based on the latest numbers, Democrats received roughly 60 million votes for the House, which as Silver noted is close to the total number of votes for Republican presidential candidates in recent elections: Donald Trump got 63 million votes in 2016, Mitt Romney got 61 million in 2012, and John McCain got 60 million in 2008.


Read more:
Trump has the worst approval rating of any president in modern US history heading into their first midterm election

In Silver’s view, this all points to Trump’s historic levels of unpopularity, which heading into the midterms was the lowest of any president in modern US history, according to data from Gallup.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.