A new Gallup poll has more bad news for Democrats and good news for Republicans: it shows Republicans’ and Republican leaning independents’ enthusiasm for voting in the mid-term elections as being at an all time high — and Democrats’ enthusiasm as seriously sagging.
It’s no small deal: mid-term elections traditionally have lower turnout than a general election so the name of the game is party enthusiasm. And it looks at this point as if the Democrats are losing this game — badly:
An average of 59% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents have said they are more enthusiastic than usual about voting this year compared with past elections, the highest average Gallup has found in a midterm election year for either party since the question was first asked in 1994.
The prior high for a party group was 50% more enthusiastic for Democrats in 2006, which is the only one of the last five midterm election years in which Democrats have had an enthusiasm advantage. In that election, Democrats won back control of the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time since 1994.
The current average is based on four measures of this enthusiasm question since February, including the recent June 11-13 USA Today/Gallup poll. In that poll, 53% of Republicans said they were more enthusiastic than usual about voting and 39% were less enthusiastic, while 35% of Democrats said they were more enthusiastic about voting and 56% were less enthusiastic.
And here’s the truly good news (for GOPers)/bad news (for Democrats): Gallup notes that “Republicans’ net score of +14 more enthusiastic in the latest poll compared with the Democrats’ net score of -21 represents the largest relative party advantage Gallup has measured in a single midterm election-year poll.”
This raises the possibly that 2010 will be an election year when: