Could a voter coalition of renters swing the midterms?


Congressional midterm elections are just a little over a week away, and their outcomes will significantly impact the ability of the Trump administration to implement its agenda in the years to come. Results will depend heavily on voter turnout among various segments of the U.S. population, and while renters are not conventionally thought of as a distinct voting coalition, they comprise 30 percent of the eligible voting population and face a distinct set of economic challenges.

In an new report, Apartment List analyzed the voting preferences of renters and found that a voting coalition of renters could have a profound impact on national politics.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Renter voices are underrepresented in American politics. In the 2016 elections, 67 percent of eligible homeowners voted, compared to just 49 percent of eligible renters.
  • Renters are significantly more likely to lean left, and we estimate that if renter voter turnout had matched homeowner voter turnout in 2016, Hilary Clinton would have won four key swing states — FL, MI, PA, and WI — leading to an electoral college victory of 307-231.
  • Renters represent a unique cross-section of the American population — the net worth of the median renter is just $5,200, compared to $231,400 for the median homeowner, and the minority share of renters is twice that of homeowners. A coalition of renters could swing elections for politicians offering a vision of inclusive economic hope for the millions of diverse renters struggling in today’s economy.

The full report can currently be viewed here.