Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dems Lead In Poll, But GOP More Enthusiastic

In mid-term elections, enthusiasm matters and Democrats, particularly young Democrats, are not very enthusiastic about the 2010 mid-term election, according to Gallup's latest polling. The poll shows Democrats are ahead in the generic ballot preference, but Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters are much less likely to help get out the vote or vote themselves than their GOP counterparts in the November 2010 general election:
Democrats lead Republicans by a slight 47% to 44% margin when registered voters are asked which party's congressional candidate they would support in their district "if the elections for Congress were being held today." At the same time, Gallup's inaugural weekly tracking update on the 2010 elections shows Republicans with a distinct advantage over Democrats in terms of enthusiasm about voting this year.

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That enthusiasm gap, measured for the first time since the 2008 election in this Gallup poll, is a real problem for Democrats:
There are significant differences in enthusiasm by party, with an 18-point "very enthusiastic" gap between Republicans and Republican-leaning independents on the one hand, and Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents on the other.
Only 20% of voters age 18-29 are very enthusiastic. Obama received a blowout 66% of the vote among the 18-29 year old age group in 2008, compared to McCain's 33% of that vote. The youth also voted 63% for House Democrats in 2008 -- Young voters not only voted for Obama at the top of the ballot, they also voted down ballot or straight ticket for other Democratic candidates. In 2010 it's the young Republicans who are more likely to GOTV.

If you don't deliver for the base, the base isn't motivated to delver for you. The Democratic base is having a difficult time getting enthusiastic about Democrats, who were elected in 2006 and 2008 on a "change" platform, showing no fight for real transforming change.

Democratic leaders in the White House, U.S. House and particularly the U.S. Senate might want to think about giving their base voters something to get enthusiastic about. Maybe a health care reform signing ceremony in the Rose Garden, perhaps? It’s hard to picture these enthusiasm numbers getting worse for Dems, but imagine if reform failed!

Washington Post's Ezra Klein explains the reconciliation process, that Democrats now plan to use to pass health care reform, in the following March 8, 2010 video of The Colbert Report. "Americans don't want health care reform jammed down their throats - unless it's first battered and deep fat-fried," says Stephen Colbert.

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