Most people who sat out the 2018 elections now say they wish they'd voted

After an election cycle that saw record-breaking voter turnout, the majority of people who did not vote last month now say they wished they had.

In the a survey of over 10,000 voting-age Americans, Pew Research Center found that 61 percent of respondents who said they had not voted in November's midterms say they wished that they had. Thirty-eight percent of those who did not vote last month said they did not regret their decision.

A similar poll conducted by Pew following the 2016 presidential election found that 55 percent of non-voters were still satisfied with their decision not to vote, compared to 44 percent who said they wished they had voted.

According to University of Florida political science professor Michael McDonald, 50.3 percent of eligible Americans voted in November's midterm elections — the highest turnout since 1914. The figure marked a significant rise from 2014's midterms, which saw a 37 percent voter turnout rate.

“This time around, there was a huge push to encourage people to vote, to make a plan, pushes for voter registration—which I think definitely contributed to some of the turnout but also perhaps this feeling of satisfaction, a feeling of it was easy and we’re part of something bigger.” Mallory Newall, the research director at Ipsos Public Affairs polling said on Wednesday’s broadcast of Hill.TV's “What America’s Thinking.”

This year's midterm elections also saw a decrease in the number of non-voters who said they thought their votes would not matter.

According to Pew, 21 percent of those who did not vote in November's midterms said they did not think their vote would make a difference. Among those who did not vote in the 2016 presidential election, 25 percent said they chose not to vote because they did not think their vote would matter.

“It may be the first time where a good chunk of the American public is actually saying, 'yeah, I wish I would have been a part of that,’” Newall added.

—Matthew Sheffield