Swalwell says most significant change in 2018 was the rise of a protest culture

Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellBad week in Trumpland signals hope for American democracy Protecting the future of journalism with the Journalist Protection Act California Democrats warn of low turnout in recall election MORE (D-Calif.) said in an interview that aired Monday on "Rising" that he believes protests in the U.S. marked the most significant moments in 2018, saying the movements had an impact on turnout in the 2018 midterm elections. 

"It's going to be the footsteps that went from the town squares," Swalwell told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball earlier this month, referencing movements such as the Women's March and March for Our Lives, as well as health-care and tax law protests. 

"[They] went to the town halls for stopping the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and standing up for other issues as it related to stopping the tax bill, and then those footsteps went to the ballot box, and sent 40 members of Congress, who flipped the House, 27 of them in their 40s or under," he continued. 

"I think it's going from the town square to the town hall to the ballot box, and bringing change to Washington, D.C.," he said. "That was the most significant moment of 2018." 

The Women's March, which launched the day after President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden administration to keep Trump-era rule of turning away migrants during pandemic On The Money: Biden, Pelosi struggle with end of eviction ban | Trump attorney says he will fight release of tax returns Lack of transatlantic cooperation on trade threatens global climate change goals MORE's inauguration in 2017, and March for Our Lives, which was spurred by the mass school shooting in Parkland, Fla. in February, drew thousands to Washington, as well as cities across the U.S. 

The movements, which were formed as a rebuke to various Trump administration policies, urged their followers to vote in the elections, largely playing in Democrats' favor. 

The United States Election Project reported in November that 49.3 percent of the eligible voter population in the U.S. turned out to vote this year, marking the highest voter turnout percentage since 1914. 

— Julia Manchester