The 2022 midterm elections delivered more victories for Democrats than predicted around the country, none more important than Senator Mark Kelly and Governor Katie Hobbs’ triumphs over MAGA challengers Blake Masters and Kari Lake, respectively. So, what exactly happened in Arizona? Why were Democrats able to buck the historical trends and notch key victories in an election cycle where the party not in charge of the White House typically suffers significant losses? Let’s take a look.

Strong Democratic Turnout

Democrats showed up. They cast their ballots and let their voices be heard in impressive numbers for a non-presidential election year, in part because of the extreme Republican candidates on the other side of the ticket.

  • In 2022, Democrats accounted for 33% of ballots cast, compared to 33.4% in 2018, and 30.7% in 2014, the previous two midterm election years.

This is particularly noteworthy, as all signs were pointing to a “Red Wave” election and trends were in Republican’s favor; instead, Arizona Democrats turned out in numbers comparable to the 2018 “Blue Wave” and delivered their party decisive victories.

Latino Turnout

We’ve talked about how critical the Latino voting bloc is to the success of the Democratic Party, and despite reports suggesting that the group is flocking to the GOP, increased Latino turnout in 2022 resulted in a positive night for Democrats.

  • In 2022, Latinos accounted for 14.2% of ballots cast, compared to 15.0% in 2018 and 9.1% in 2014.

The Youth Vote

When young people get out and vote, Democrats win. It’s that simple. And that’s exactly what we saw happen in November in 2022.

  • Voters under the age of 30 comprised 10.3% of the electorate, nearly matching their vote share of 10.5% from the 2018 “Blue Wave” election, but still a substantial increase from their 6.2% share in 2014.

As the Democratic Party moves on and looks ahead to 2024, it should consider the valuable lessons learned from Arizona. Rely on the coalitions that deliver the party victories, and continue to invest resources in them and their communities. Oh, and candidate quality certainly matters too!