Delaware Public Media

Anger, anxiety motivating voters in upcoming election, poll shows

Jul 12, 2018

New polling from the University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication shows anger and anxiety over politics may drive more people to the voting booth this year.

 

 

The results found that 66% of women and 58% of men are angry at politics in general. 50 percent of women describe themselves as anxious - compared to 40 percent of men.

Many women polled say those feelings will get them to the polls - with 63% citing anxiety as the reason they’ll vote and 49% citing anger.

UD’s Center for Political Communication Associate Director Dr. Lindsay Hoffman notes when the data is broken down along party lines, rather than age and gender, the results are not all that shocking.

“When the sitting president and the House and the Senate are all controlled by one party, generally people who belong to the other party aren’t real happy,” Hoffman said. “In terms of people who said that they were Democrat, 61% of them felt anxious compared to 27% of Republicans. When it came to feeling angry it was 68% compared to 51. So, Democrats are clearly feeling more anxiety, more anger as well.”

She pointed to anxiety leading voters to pay more attention to politics, while voter anger leads to more political participation, including voter turnout and social media sharing.

Hoffman also cites age as a determining factor.

“When it comes to age, it was actually the 45-64 age group that was 78% of them said politicians were fighting more,” said Hoffman.

She adds that, as a whole, young people feel less anxious but more angry at the political climate.

The poll surveyed just under 700 people nationwide between June 29 - July 1 and has a margin of error of just +/- 3.7 percent.