As congressional midterm elections are less than a week away, their outcomes will significantly impact the future of millions of Americans 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 voting coalition, they comprise 30% of the eligible voting population and face a distinct set of economic challenges.
In a new study by 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. Renters are less likely than homeowners to be voting eligible, and even among eligible voters, just 49% of renters cast a ballot in 2016, compared to 67% of homeowners.
- 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.