Commentary Magazine


Enthusiasm Gap Widens

Gallup brings more bad news for the Democrats: “Although U.S. registered voters are closely divided in their 2010 congressional election preferences, those who say they are ‘very enthusiastic about voting’ this year show a strong preference for the Republican Party.” In the ‘very enthusiastic’ about voting category, Republicans lead Democrats by 20 points — 57 to 37 percent. As the pollsters explain:

Gallup has consistently found Republicans expressing a higher level of enthusiasm than Democrats about voting in this year’s election campaign. Theoretically, those who are enthusiastic about voting would be more likely to turn out to vote than those who are not enthusiastic. This fall, Gallup will be better able to measure the potential impact of turnout on the vote by applying its “likely voter” model to the generic ballot results. That model takes into account a more complete set of factors related to voting, including interest in the election, intention to vote, and past voting behavior.

There is also a combined gender and marriage factor at work: “There is a combined effect between gender and marriage, such that married men are decidedly Republican and unmarried women strongly Democratic. Marital status seems to be the more important of the two factors, since married men and married women prefer the Republican candidate, and unmarried men and unmarried women prefer the Democratic candidate.” (Note to Peter Beinart: a married woman on the Supreme Court would be a wasted token for Obama.) And one more troubling nugget for the Democrats: independents favor Republicans in the congressional race by eight points.

No wonder Obama is madly playing to his base. His party is in deep trouble, the opposition is pumped up, and the Democrats will be pointing fingers directly at the White House if the present trends continue.