Thirty-seven percent (37%) of voters nationwide believe the 2018 midterms are the most important election of their lifetimes. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that 52% of Democrats believe the stakes are that high. That view is also held by 35% of Republicans and 22% of Independents.
Thirty-eight percent (38%) expect the results to have a significant impact on their life.
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, there is no generation gap on this issue. Senior citizens have seen many more elections than younger voters, but are just as likely to say that this is the most important one they’ve seen.
Fifty-five percent (55%) believe that the U.S.is more polarized today than at any point in our nation’s history. Only 16% disagree. These results may reflect current political rhetoric and media saturation more than thoughtful reflection. The nation was certainly more polarized during the Civil War and at other points in our history. Even the riot-filled 1960s were more polarized than today .
However, voters displayed a sense of perspective when responding to a different question. Seventy-one percent (71%) say decisions they make have a bigger impact on their life than policies of the federal government. That view is shared by 79% of Independents, 73% of Republicans, and 62% of Democrats (see question wording and crosstab results).
That’s consistent with data released earlier showing that Americans recognize that the nation’s fate is not determined by our politicians. Seventy-one percent (71%) believe Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have had a bigger impact on the world we live in than all eight presidents who have served since Apple and Microsoft were founded.
The national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted November 2-3, 2018 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology and the demographic profile of our sample). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.
By way of disclosure, I have spend many years saying that people overstate the impact of elections. Every year, I cringe when activists and pundits claim that the next election is the most important ever. My new book, The Sun is Still Rising: Politics Has Failed But America Will Not, describes how the culture leads our nation forward while politicians lag behind. It’s the reason I’m optimistic about our nation’s future. In fact, I am confident the culture is even powerful enough to fix our broken political system.
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Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).