Voter enthusiasm higher for GOP voters
A party can have the greatest candidate in the world, or at least think so, but if voters who favor that candidate and party don’t get out and vote, even a Jimmy Carter can win. This time around, if the polls are indicative of the voter’s true feelings, the enthusiasm gap is on the side of the GOP. In fact, pollsters haven’t seen such a difference since 1994. The Pew Research Center conducted a recent survey and found:
Fully 56% of Republican voters say they are more enthusiastic about voting this year than in previous elections – the highest percentage of GOP voters expressing increased enthusiasm about voting in midterms dating back to 1994. While enthusiasm among Democratic voters overall is on par with levels in 2006, fewer liberal Democrats say they are more enthusiastic about voting than did so four years ago (52% then, 37% today).
The other key, of course, is the final sentence. And, if you read the liberal blogs, that’s patently obvious. None of the rah-rah activism we saw when Republicans were in control or in office. And certainly none of the enthusiasm they displayed then.
Probably the most damaging to the Democratic side, is their failure to hold on to the elderly vote, with which they usually do very well. The elderly vote and it looks like they’re going to vote Republican this time around (again, assuming the poll numbers hold). At this point, the vast 2006 lead (52% to 38%) the Democrats held among the elderly voters (50 and over) has completely disappeared:
Voters younger than 30 favor the Democratic candidate in their district by a wide margin (57% to 32%). Yet only half of young voters say they are absolutely certain to vote. Voters ages 50 and older favor the Republican candidate in their district by double digits (11 points) and roughly eight-in-ten (79%) say they are absolutely certain to vote.
These polls, of course, provide national snapshots of feelings at the time they’re taken. Their worth is as indicators and as they’re repeated over time, their ability to spot trends. The trend now is toward the GOP candidate generically. Some local races may tend toward a Democratic candidate, but overall, it appears to be shaping up as a GOP mid-term.