2012 & 2018 Unlikely Voter Polls

Cutting Edge Research on the "Other America" - Suffolk University

April 23, 2018: Unlikely/Unregistered Voters with USA TODAY

Six years ago, Suffolk University and USA TODAY teamed up to poll the "Other America": the increasingly large number of American adults who are eligible to vote but choose not to, either by not registering or by simply not going to the polls. According to the US Elections Project, in the 2010 midterm elections, 91 million people voted, but 127 million eligible voters did not. In the 2014 midterms, 83 million voted but 144 million did not. In the 2018 midterms, which will elect US Senators, members of the House of Representatives, Governors and other statewide officials, non-voters could top 150 million and by some estimates may reach 160 million.

Who are these Americans and why are they choosing not to participate in our civic process? In 2012 SUPRC was the only university in the world to speak directly to these citizens, and this year we wanted to speak to them again. Every other poll conducted this election cycle will express the views of registered and likely voters. This is a poll of everyone else.  

Complete results are posted below, and coverage appears in the online edition of USA TODAY. 

Poll Documents

Press Release

Non-Voters Cite “Corrupt System” as Reason for Opting Out 

Key Names/Issues

2018 midterm elections, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Mike Pence, US Congress, the news media, FBI, Democratic Party, Republican Party, third parties, voter registration, voter ID laws

August 15, 2012: Unlikely/Unregistered Voters with USA TODAY

Political opinion polls usually confine themselves to seeking out registered, likely voters. But what about the millions of adult U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote and choose not to?

The Suffolk University Political Research Center and USA TODAY have partnered to find out what these 80 million Americans think – who they support for president, what their opinions are on national issues and why they aren’t participating in their country’s civic process. Every other poll being conducted is talking to the usual cadre of registered and likely voters. This exclusive poll is the first of its kind – a study of everyone else! As the fall election season gets into high gear, find out what the rest of America is thinking. Can solid blue or red states turn swing? What might increased participation do to the electoral map? Complete results are posted below and are available in the print and online editions of USA TODAY.

Poll Documents:

Press Release

Obama Would Cruise to Victory if Non-Voters Participate