Friday, September 10, 2010

A small piece of hope

We haven't had much positive to say for Democrats lately but here's a little glimmer of hope: in the New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Virginia elections so far this cycle the enthusiasm gap has lessened as the election got closer. It wasn't enough to save Jon Corzine, Martha Coakley, or Creigh Deeds but it could be a difference maker in a close race.

A Virginia poll we conducted in late July and early August last year found a likely electorate that supported John McCain by 11 points. Our second to last poll there, which predicted Bob McDonnell's final margin of victory almost right on the dot, found that improved to McCain +4.

Our mid September New Jersey poll last year found an electorate that was Obama +2. Our final poll there found that improved all the way to Obama +11 and that's a big reason why Corzine ended up losing only by 4 points instead of the 9 point deficit he had a month and a half before the election.

And in Massachusetts two weekends before the election we were looking at an Obama +16 electorate, which improved to an Obama +19 one the weekend before the election. That didn't save Coakley though after her gaffe filled final week.

Similar upticks in enthusiasm this year won't keep the election from being a bloodbath for Democrats but it could make the difference for some candidates, particularly those in close races in states with particularly large enthusiasm gaps. Three specifics names come to mind. Our last Illinois poll found Alexi Giannoulias ahead by 2 points with an Obama +9 electorate in a state he actually won by 25 points. Our last Wisconsin poll found Russ Feingold up 2 points with an Obama +1 electorate in a state that he won by 14 points. And our last Nevada poll found Harry Reid ahead by 2 points with an Obama +4 electorate in a state that he won by 12. A small increase in Democratic interest in those states could ensure those guys pull out narrow victories.


Anonymous said...

You raise a good point. The partisan enthusiasm gap will close somewhat. Republicans are already as fired-up as they can get, whereas Democrats have a lot of "room" to become more energized. More Ds than Rs will thus drift from the "unlikely" to "likely" voter camp in the final weeks of the campaign. However, unlike in VA, NJ and MA, tightening associated with bridging the partisan enthusiasm gap might be fully offset this time by the growing consensus that"recovery summer" has turned into "endless recession."

Christian Liberty said...

While its possible that Democratic voters may turn up late after unions do their canvassing to try to brainwash people into voting Demoncrat, the reports of union canvassers (reported on Bloomberg Radio) is that when union canvassers go to knock on doors, they find out that "their" voters are big fans of Rush and Glenn Beck. America has turned (and will continue to turn) more conservative. Demoncrats have so thoroughly destroyed the economy that they will not have voters' trust again for many years to come.

Anonymous said...

Will you be polling in West Virginia, Wisconsin, or Washington soon?

Dewey said...

Get out the vote efforts are now "brainwashing." I'm literally speechless.

valleyforge said...

Even if the electorate on Election Day contains more Obama voters than today, the share of those 2008 Obama voters who still support Obama in November 2010 will likely be lower than the share who still supported him in November 2009 or January 2010 so it will not necessarily translate into more Dem votes.

Christian Liberty said...

Dewey, suggesting anyone should vote Democrat requires brainwashing. All intelligent and informed people would either vote Republican or support someone further to the right.

Robert said...

@Christian Liberty: So, the Democrats destroyed the economy, huh? Are you one of the forgetful folks who has wiped clear the last decade from his memory? It was the Republicans that destroyed this economy, and now they're running on a platform of blaming the Democrats for not cleaning up their mess fast enough. People like to forget that we were losing almost a million jobs a month under Bush, and it's those same people who refuse to acknowledge that we've had seven months of private sector job growth.

And brainwashing is the staple of the GOP. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together can figure out that supply side economics is a bad joke, and that economies are built from the bottom up, not the top down. But yet, some people still believe this fantasy that has been a proven failure. You might call that brainwashing. Let's also not forget such gems as "9/11, 9/11, terrorist, Obama's a Muslim, Marxist Socialist, tax cuts for the rich, 9/11, 9/11". How is that not brainwashing?

Web Statistics