Free Markets, Free People

Is the “enthusiasm gap” now on the side of Democrats?

A new PPP poll suggests that’s the case.   As I’ve mentioned any number of times, this is one of the polls I keep tabs on because the enthusiasm of the voting public for a particular candidate or party are key to Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts and election wins.

PPP’s latest:

The paltry turnout in the Republican Presidential contests over the last week reflects what we’ve seen in our recent national polling: Democrats are now more excited about voting this fall than Republicans are, reversing the enthusiasm gap that plagued the party in 2010.

Our last national survey for Daily Kos found that 58% of Democrats were ‘very excited’ about voting this fall, compared to 54% of Republicans. Six months ago the figures were 48% of Democrats ‘very excited’ and Republicans at the same 54%. Generally you would expect voters to get more excited as the election gets nearer. That trend is occurring on the Democratic side, but not for the GOP.


Going deeper inside the numbers:

-25% of conservatives are not at all excited to vote this fall, compared to only 16% of liberals.

-The percentage of Tea Party voters ‘very excited’ about voting in November has declined from 73% to 62% since late July.

-The single group of voters most enthused about turning this year are African Americans, 72% of whom say they’re ‘very excited’ to cast their ballots.

Given the GOP primary process, I have to say I’m not at all surprised by these numbers.  It’s has been bloody and divisive.  But, as PPP admits, this could change once a nominee is settled upon.  And, one should remember, President Obama has been mostly out of the pre-election limelight.  Once the focus of the GOP has settled on him, you may see enthusiasm on the right rise again.  But suffice it to say, the enthusiasm gap we see right now has more to do with the current crop of GOP candidates than ousting Barack Obama from the presidency.

Another poll, WND/Wenzel Poll, suggests that 20% of self-identified Republicans  are leaning toward Obama this year.  I’m not so sure about that.  And if true, does that indicate actual support for Obama or disgust with the GOP process (and candidates).  I’d guess the latter.  At this point, though, Intrade has Obama’s re-election chances at 60%.

Before the Obama campaign begins to celebrate, there’s something they need to consider this from Gallup:

This historical pattern suggests that Obama would need to see his job approval rating climb to 50% to be in a comfortable position for re-election. History shows that by March of the election year, all winning presidents in the modern era, including George W. Bush, had job approval ratings above 50%, and all losing presidents had job approval ratings below 50%. This suggests that where Obama stands by next month may be an important indicator of his ultimate re-election chances.

In fact, at this point in his presidency he has an approval rating below that of both George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, both of whom lost their re-election bids.

Independents aren’t mentioned among all this polling and it is their enthusiasm and turn out that will likely determine November’s outcome.  But still … if you can get your own base enthused, how are you going to convince indies to turn out for you?

That’s what I want to try to look into a little at CPAC.  We’ll see what I find.


Twitter: @McQandO

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41 Responses to Is the “enthusiasm gap” now on the side of Democrats?

  • Once the Republicans have their nominee selected and the light is aimed directly at Obama you will see significant increases in both excitement and enthusiasm increase. Among conservatives and independents. Probably on the left as well. But unless the economy improves dramatically people will not be looking at Barry and Sheriff Joe so favorably.
    How many of you expect the up coming election to be one of the dirtiest and most divisive elections ever?
    Yeah you can call me a racist for even asking.

  • If the GOP nominates Romney then I think it’ll be one of the most boring elections ever. They agree on too many topics so the campaign will run on fringe/meaningless issues. If it is Romney vs Obama I won’t even be bothered to vote.
    If Santorum gets the nod then he will get crushed. He doesn’t have the organization to pull it off. There aren’t nearly enough social conservatives to make him viable. It is not even close.
    If Gingrich gets the nod then it will be a dirty campaign. He’ll get pulled into a mud slinging fight and the MSM will be sure to handicap him in such an ordeal. Then again, Gingrich’s miles long baggage train handicaps him.
    Then there is Paul. He is considered a crank by most and the establishment GOP won’t support him. He is the only one I’d consider voting for but I see that chance somewhere between slim and none.

    So the same deal is in play. The best chance for Obama being re-elected is the poor quality of the GOP candidates. I’m not surprised by the lack of enthusiasm.


    We may need to adjust our fire down-ticket. That lady sounds like someone I could support very enthusiastically.

    There is some noise about a brokered convention, too. We live in interesting times…

  • O/T, but apropos to the Idiot Erp’s “Conservatism is collapsing” BS…

    Caterpillar Inc. will not be building its new North American plant anywhere in the state of Illinois, officials with the company told local leaders Tuesday, with part of the reason being continued concerns about the business climate in the state.

    The company will instead focus on a location closer to its division headquarters in Cary, N.C., Peoria County officials were told in an email sent to them shortly after the close of business and later obtained by the Journal Star. The plant stood to bring with it from Japan roughly 1,000 jobs manufacturing track-type tractors and mini hydraulic excavators.

    Everywhere they are tried, sound Conservative policies work. It makes a nice contrast to the failures of the Collective.

  • The GOP needs a positive message. If it’s all about how bad Obama is, you’ll lose — many of you are convinced he’s horrible, but not enough to defeat him. Ronald Reagan had a positive, inspirational and optimistic message. The GOP sounds like ‘gloom and doomers’ all negative. Even economic good news gets a negative spin – the GOP is the party of malaise. Look at Daniels’ response to the SOTU (and the Daily Show spoof on it). No party can win without putting forth a positive, inspirational vision. If you’re just running against Obama, the only way to win is if the economy stays in the pit. But that doesn’t look as likely now as it used to.

    Conservatism isn’t collapsing, just an anachronistic nostalgic version of it as put forth by the tea party. A new version of conservatism for the 21st century can win, but it has to have a vision that can be articulated as something other than “Obama bad” or “I can fix the economy.”

    • @scotterb I always thought “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” had a winning ring to it.

      • @Ragspierre Yeah, but both sides claim those phrases.

        • @scotterb But both sides have records. So we know one side is lying.

        • @Ragspierre Why can’t they both be lying? If Joe says the sky is pink and Frank says the sky is purple then who do you believe?
          Neither, I hope.

        • @tkc882 I think you’re confusing “sides” with “parties”. There are sides, right?

        • @scotterb @Ragspierre Yeah, but both sides claim those phrases
          >>> The left sure doesn’t. “From each according to his ability and to each according to his need” is the left’s version. Or maybe it’s “cradle to grave”

        • @The Shark @Ragspierre Again, it’s funny how you fantasize the left has having viewpoints so extreme. Sometimes a fantasy is all you need.

        • @scotterb Except…”income inequity”. Liar.

    • @scotterb “Conservatism isn’t collapsing, just an anachronistic nostalgic version of it as put forth by the tea party.”

      Let’s see, shall we…???

      limited government and free enterprise…according to 2010, and recent Rasmussen polling, that is a big winner (everywhere BUT with the “political class”…and, yes, I’m looking at you, Erp).

      distrust of elitism…(see Wall Street, Occupy; see also “Brights”, failure of)

      wealth creation…Americans know how this is done, and how it is discouraged (see “skyrocket, necessarily” reg. energy costs)

      natural law…seems to be catching on, doesn’t it?

      legal immigration…see polling on controlling our borders

      gun rights…see sales, record

      American exceptionalism…see reaction, Obamic Decline

      All pretty positive, new, now, happening things…seems to me.

      • @Ragspierre Vague, sloganistic and often negative. The GOP is caught in a spiral of negativity or slogans that only speak to its base. Reagan transcended those limits, the GOP so far has been unable to. I think you know I’m right.

        • @scotterb “I think you know I’m right.”

          Two lies in one short sentence!

        • @scotterb @Ragspierre But there are so many ways to remind people that Obama is a complete clusterfrack. Let me count the ways …

        • @Neo_ @scotterb @Ragspierre

          I’m reading Game Change right now…its hilarious to read about Obama’s campaign…they keep dropping names like….Corzine, Anita Dunn, etc.

          And they talk about how he likes his week-ends, and how he likes to relax, and how one of his aides came up with two proposals for him to choose from (See Mickey Kaus on the check box leadership)

        • @Harun @Neo_ @scotterb What I call the “Chinese Menu” method of decision-making.

          And the guy is reputed to be a genie-ass….

        • @Neo_ @Ragspierre I think a lot of Republicans have believed their own rhetoric about Obama and thus under estimate him. His negatives never got as low as Reagan’s and Clinton’s, and his recession has been much worse. The only reason he’s recovering a bit later in approval is because of that. It’s like the left with Bush in 2004 – they were convinced everyone knew Bush was a disaster and easy to defeat. The worst thing is for partisans on either side to so fall in love with their side’s propaganda that they lose sight of reality. I think blogs where like minded people reinforce like minded people add to that “groupthink.” Typical symptoms are that people think their view is far more widespread than it is, and underestimation of the opposition.

        • @scotterb @Neo_ Sounds like you have a serious case of projection gonin’ on there, Erp.

          OBJECTIVELY, Obama is amazingly crappy, and aggressively dangerous to anybody who values freedom. You COULD name the ways, so I won’t bother. Essentially everything the Collective FANTACIZED about BOOOOOooooooooooooosh is a doubled-down reality with Bad Luck Barry.

          Did you pick up the polling that showed he had a 20% approval rating with independents?

          I do NOT underestimate Obama. He is extremely capable of really bad shit, and I fully expect it from him in trying to keep his butt in office.

      • @Ragspierre @scotterb I agree with Hitchens that the term “brights” is lame. Those who push its use tend to have an agenda beyond “naturalism”, towards collectivist political agendas like “egalitarianism”—which I find to be as irrational as religion. It’s a belief that this time, the right people will make wise decisions for others, for a change, unlike the millions of examples in history when that didn’t work.

        “legal immigration…see polling on controlling our borders”

        I don’t see how people who recognize “natural law” and the right to use the best tools for self defense somehow get short-circuited over lines on a map.

  • Most of this comes from the way the primary has wrapped the GOP in on itself.
    Instead of a message of how America will be different with each GOP candidate, the Media and the SuperPACs have turned this into a slimefest.
    Expect the trend to reverse once there is only one GOP candidate.

    • @Neo_ It also has to do with the generally crappy conduct and results of the primary process. NOBODY can be enthused about what we are seeing.

      • @Ragspierre @Neo_

        Also all of the good candidates dropped out or are not running, thinking 2016 will be much easier.

        Pawlenty should not have dropped out. He would have been the flavour du jour like everyone else, and he would have been a decent candidate…same with Mitch Daniels – someone needed to take his wife aside and told her to buck up.

        Christie has a fig leaf of excuse due to experience.

        • @Harun @Ragspierre @Neo_ I think the GOP will find someone in 2016 to articulate a clear vision — it won’t be Rubio, it probably is someone not yet on the radar screen, just as noone saw Obama coming.

  • Why do “leftist”/”liberal”/Democrat pundits feel the need to give Republicans “advice” on political campaigns?

    Are there any Republicans/”conservatives” or the like who actually give a rat’s behind what this interloper considers a “good strategy” for the GOP? Anyone here look at such “advice” and do anything but laugh, recognizing it as a transparent attempt to either demoralize the opponent or play reverse psychology, hoping the Republicans will make it easier to lose the election? Perhaps he’s hedging his bets, hoping the more Democrat-like Republican will win, ensuring that there will be no rollback of ObamaPelosiCare or the like—in the way that George Soros has expressed approval of Romney.

    It’s a waste of energy to flex his fingers to type that as it won’t have any influence on anyone here.

    Meanwhile, the “establishment” Republicans will do everything they can to offer up Romney as Bob Dole v. 3.0 (McCain being Dole 2.0). He’ll get his wish, even if he wrote the exact opposite.

  • @scotterb “I think the GOP will find someone in 2016 to articulate a clear vision — it won’t be Rubio, it probably is someone not yet on the radar screen, just as noone saw Obama coming.”

    Can any “conservative”/Republican type let me know if you or any pundits who side with you ever lecture Democrats on their candidate choices, giving them “advice” on who will serve their party better?

    Really, Scott, you have to be a huge horses a** to sit there pretending to have the GOP’s interest at heart, when it is clear from your long written history that you ALWAYS want the Democrats to win the whitehouse and both houses of congress. ALWAYS. Why do you think you’re fooling anyone to give “advice” on what your enemies ought to do, for their own “good”? Nothing you write under the guise of advice to Republicans has any influence, because nobody in the GOP looks to you for answers.

    Why don’t you STFU on this matter and let the Republicans decide for themselves what’s in their best interest?

    Just a suggestion.

    • @myweeklycrime You’re being silly, Elliot. I’m not pretending to have the GOP’s interests at heart, I’m analyzing what their problem is. Guess what – political scientists analyze politics. I do often vote for Republicans too – I can’t recall ever having voted straight ticket Democratic. I don’t see politics in terms of “enemies.” My local state rep is Republican, a friend, and someone I voted for. I have admiration for my two Republican Senators. Anyone who sees politics in terms of “enemies” is misguided.

      I write more about it in my blog today, noting the difference between the positive message of Reagan and the current crop of GOP hopefuls. So I’ll keep analyze, even if it bugs you — why should I worry about what you think, given your behavior anyway?

      By the way, I was in Detroit at the Republican convention in 1980. I was on the floor as Reagan gave his acceptance speech, down under the big podium proclaiming “Together a New Beginning.” I recall the buzz in the convention when there was talk of a Reagan-Ford ticket, and Reagan came a night early to announce that wasn’t to be. It was a pretty exciting experience for a 20 year old!

      • @scotterb @myweeklycrime “I was on the floor as Reagan gave his acceptance speech, down under the big podium…”

        Whose “big podium” were you under, down on the floor…???

        (The devil made me write that…)

      • @scotterb “I’m not pretending to have the GOP’s interests at heart, I’m analyzing what their problem is. Guess what – political scientists analyze politics.”

        Your “analysis” is indistinguishable from pretense.

        You are clearly not objective, like a real scientist. Not that politics allows for any sort of testable hypotheses, even if you were. But you’re all about provoking, attempting to get your enemies to be angry so you can childishly declare victory in a debate.

        In a debate among mature intellectuals, facts and reason are the proper tools for determining who is correct, not emotions.

        You can keep pretending to be doing “analysis” but I’m pretty sure anyone paying attention can easily figure out you’re just a partisan hack, writing thinly veiled propaganda.

        • @myweeklycrime LOL! Did you read about Scott Rasmussen’s talk at CPAC, essentially telling conservatives the same thing I wrote. Dana Milbank’s column explains:

          The only person not objective here is you. You’re being driven by emotion, I’ve hurt your feelings in posts in the past and you can’t let it go. It’s clear you’re holding a grudge (I have no grudge against you despite all the stuff you’ve written about me — I give you no power over my emotions). You sound very bitter. Yet my analysis is accurate, and you haven’t made one argument against it — just a bitter, personal attack. Sad.

        • @scotterb You misunderstand my reference to emotion. A thousand times I’ve seen you sneer at someone who responded to you or an ally, claiming that their apparent anger was an indicator that they lost the argument. It is you who considers emotion to be an indication of the superior argument.

        • @myweeklycrime Anger is a negative emotion and usually a sign that someone has failed or is embarrassed. When I stick to logic and people get angry and abandon logical thought, yes, I see that as indicative that they have been defeated in an argument and they refuse to admit that. However, if their anger is accompanied by a logical argument they are at least still trying and I overlook the anger (I’ve learned never to take seriously insults in internet debates – that’s why I hold no grudges) and focus on the argument. Some people seem to trip all over themselves in anger, obsession with attacking another person, etc. It’s more psychological than logical at that point.

        • @scotterb “Anger is a negative emotion and usually a sign that someone has failed or is embarrassed.”

          If your neighbor smashes your car with a baseball bat, and you get angry, does that mean you failed or that you’re embarrassed?

          That is precisely the problem with your attempt to apply such a generalization to the matter of debate. Consistently, for years, up to and including today, you demonstrate that your interest is not in providing facts and reasons to counter an opponent’s statements. Indeed, you complain loudly when facts such as your previous statements about war are cited.

          You’re all about playing a game, in which facts and logic are immaterial. It’s a childish game in which you write things to provoke and anger others, with the intent to then assert that their apparent anger (or, what you oftentimes falsely portray as anger or some other emotion) is “evidence” that you “won” and they “lost”.

          “When I stick to logic and people get angry and abandon logical thought, yes, I see that as indicative that they have been defeated in an argument and they refuse to admit that.”

          Except you don’t “stick to logic”. You lie about people, you post propaganda, you ignore facts, etc.. Your dishonesty and stubborn refusal to address facts often do provoke people to respond to you with disgust. But when you “see that as indicative” that they lost (or pretend to), you’re just wrong.

          You don’t overlook insults. You insult people, particularly when you feel insulted. You do hold grudges. You just pretend that you’re above that.

          “It’s more psychological than logical at that point.”

          A perfect example of transference.

  • It’s rare I agree with Thomas Friedman, but just as Scott Rasmussen shares my view on the GOP, I agree with Friedman that the party is out of date and needs to move into the 21st Century:

  • @scotterb Who cares if you and another anti-Republican propagandist synchronize your talking points on the fake “advice” you give to Republicans?

    It’s all a ruse and only an idiot would take advice from a political enemy.

    Up next, Iranian military leaders advise the US Navy how to defend against attacks in the Strait of Hormuz.