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56% of GOP Voters Felt ‘Compelled’ to Vote Vs. 43% of Democrats

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Republicans were the most enthusiastic voters this election cycle as the final results indicate. The economy and the overall competence of the government were the two most important issues for all voters.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of Likely Republican Voters say they felt more compelled to vote this year than in previous years, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Forty-one percent (41%) of GOP voters say they didn’t feel this way.

By comparison, just 43% of Democrats felt more compelled to vote this year, but 48% did not. Similarly, among voters not affiliated with either major party, 44% felt more motivated to vote versus 49% who didn’t share this motivation. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

This echoes findings in July when 65% of GOP voters said they were more likely to vote this year compared to previous elections, but just 53% of Democrats said the same.

Among all voters, 47% now say they felt more compelled to vote this year, while 46% did not.

Thirty-four percent (34%) said, generally speaking, they voted for incumbents, while 44% opted for newcomers instead. Twenty-two percent (22%) are not sure.

Republicans (44%) and unaffiliateds (50%) are more likely than Democrats (39%) to have voted for newcomers.

When asked which issue was most important to their vote, 33% of all voters said the economy, followed by 20% who listed government competence. Fifteen percent (15%) rated health care at the top of their list, closely followed by taxes and spending (13%). Five percent (5%) or less listed immigration, the environment, foreign policy or something else as most important to their vote.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on November 4-5, 2014 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

The economy has long been the issue voters rate as most important to their vote in the next congressional election, followed by health care and government spending.

Democrats (38%) placed slightly more emphasis on the economy this election cycle than Republicans (32%) and unaffiliated voters (28%) did.

Given the government’s recent problems in a number of areas including veterans’ affairs and the IRS, 24% of GOP voters listed government competence as most important to their vote, a view shared by 22% of unaffiliated voters and 16% of Democrats. This issue rated number two for Republicans and unaffiliateds, but Democrats listed health care in second place.

Only 19% of all voters now trust the federal government to do the right thing most or nearly all the time.

Men are slightly more likely than women to have voted in this election. Those 40 and older voted more heavily than younger voters.

Those who felt more compelled to vote this election cycle voted for newcomers over incumbents by a 47% to 32% margin.

Going into the election, just 29% of all voters felt that their local representative in Congress deserved reelection. But 67% think most members of Congress get reelected because election rules are rigged to benefit incumbents.

Many Americans question, too, whether their vote really counts.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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