Ultimately, that means democrats will face a major challenge because of a low turnout by people considered “poor”.
As stated by Scott Keeter, director of survey research with Pew and the study’s lead author, financial security correlates most with virtually every measure of engagement from a political standpoint. For instance, last year, 94% of the most financially secure Americans confirmed they were registered voters. However, only 54% of people considered not to be financially secure were legal voters.
That same pattern also looks at people who are most likely to vote. Estimates from Pew are that before last year, 63% of financially secure individuals during mid-term would vote, compared to only 20% of people in the least financially secure group.
Keeter also pointed out that people in the least financially secure group said they preferred a candidate from the Democratic Party but even so, the majority admitted that they will not vote. For Democrats, this creates a very serious challenge of low turnout rates.
The non-partisan research organization discovered that in 2014, significantly fewer potential votes were left than Republicans. Interestingly, of those in the least financially secure group, more than 50% favored a Democratic candidate but only 12% said they would actually vote.
During contests mid-term, the challenges of turnout faced by the Democratic Party are the most severe. It is at this time that the electorate is typically whiter and older than seen in presidential elections.
To come up with the figures disclosed in the study, Pew conducted interviews from September 9 through October 3 with over 3,150 adult Americans. Included in the interview process were specific questions relevant to insecurity and economic security, to include different means of financial hardship such as getting more assistance from the government and having trouble paying debt. This information was then used to create a financial security index.
In most cases, Americans considered to be financially insecure are not as engaged in politics, with barely 14% admitting to having reached out to an elected official within the past two years. In comparison, of American adults in the most financially secured group, 42% had contacted an official.
Specific to the political landscape and awareness, 61% of Americans who are more financially secure had the ability to correctly identify House and Senate parties in control whereas only 26% of individuals deemed least financially secure could. For the upcoming presidential election, Democrats will have to pull out all the stops in order to encourage poorer Americans to make it to the polls to cast a vote.