Renter Voter Turnout Increasing

Voter turnout is typically smaller in midterm elections, but renters are closing the gap with homeowner turnout.

2 minute read

Renters are closing the gap with homeowners regarding voter turnout. The midterm elections are next week, and Apartment List reviewed voting habits between the two cohorts. While the gap between homeowners and renters has been larger in midterm elections, presidential election years have also closed.

In the 2018 midterms, 59% of eligible homeowners voted compared to 40% for renters, but the 19% gap is the closest since 1990. The 40% is also a jump from 26% in 2014. In previous midterms, the gap was between 22%-25%. In 2020, the gap was 16%, the same as in 2008—no presidential election since has been above 20%.

Renters typically lean toward Democratic candidates and have for decades. The last Republican presidential candidate to carry renters’ votes was Richard Nixon in 1972. In 2020, renters favored President Biden over former President Trump by 36.5 percentage points, while homeowners favored Biden by less than a percentage point.

Homeowners and renters align on inflation, strongly agreeing that inflation has impacted their lives and that it is a critical issue in the midterms. However, the rising costs of housing and housing affordability are much more important to renters than homeowners, based on the survey from Apartment List. Nearly 30% of renters strongly agree that housing affordability is a critical issue in the midterms, while only 14% of homeowners strongly agree. Only 12% of homeowners strongly agree that rising housing costs have had a negative impact on them, while 27% of renters strongly agree.

NAA Gets Out the Vote with the Apartment Party

The upcoming midterm elections will have an immense impact on the future of housing policy. With such narrow margins in both chambers, every vote will make a difference. Regardless of your personal political views, as someone who works in the rental housing industry, it is essential that our industry, speak loudly and with a unified voice. Members of the newly launched “Apartment Party” aim to support elected officials who support the industry, whether by cosponsoring favorable housing legislation or consistently meeting with NAA members and local affiliates to discuss our priority issues. 

Watch NAA’s get out the vote (GOTV) video! Share this video with your network to encourage your peers to get out and vote on Nov. 8! This election is too important to stay home. 

Questions? Contact Austin O’Boyle, NAA’s Senior Manager of Grassroots Advocacy & Stakeholder Engagement.