Last week we got whacked by a bunch of Democrats for putting out a Wisconsin poll with an electorate they thought was too skewed toward John McCain voters. This week we got whacked by a bunch of Republicans for putting out a Kentucky poll with an electorate they thought was too skewed toward Barack Obama voters. I stand by both those polls.
There is no doubt in my mind that the 2010 electorate nationally as a whole will be more Republican friendly than the ones in 2006 and 2008. I don't think that the shift in the electorate will be identical in every state though. There will be some states where the electorate is very similar to who turned out in 2008, and there are others where it will really be more Republican leaning this time around.
We already saw this in the 2009 elections. There was a huge drop in Democratic turnout in Virginia, but a much smaller one in New Jersey. Jon Corzine's loss had less to do with Obama voters not coming back out than it did with those Obama voters supporting Chris Christie.
Recently our polls have found Democratic interest in places like Texas and Kentucky pretty similar to what it was in 2008. That makes sense. For one thing the Obama operation was not strongly contesting those states, so they may not have seen huge spikes in Democratic turnout to begin with. But the main races in those states are also the kind that you would expect to keep party voters engaged. In Texas Democrats have a strong challenger for Governor in Bill White and an unpopular Republican incumbent in Rick Perry. In Kentucky you have the prospect of Rand Paul getting elected to shake Democratic voters out of their slumber.
On the other hand our recent polls in places like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Iowa have suggested very large drops in Democratic turnout for this year. There are some common threads that draw those states together- all three have extremely unpopular Democratic Governors and all three have higher than usual numbers of Obama voters who have since moved into the disapproval column when it comes to him. It makes sense that Democratic voters might be less inclined to come out this year in places where they haven't been real thrilled with the performance of the folks they voted in the last few cycles.
There will definitely be an overall drop in Democratic turnout this year- just don't expect it to happen to the same degree in every state.