Friday, April 9, 2010

Enthusiasm Gap Continues

Some recent polling has suggested that the enthusiasm gap for this fall's election is closing at the national level but our five most recent Senate polls still suggest an electorate in November that is much more conservative than what we saw in 2008.

Our polls over the last few weeks in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin found a self reported 2008 vote anywhere from 6-10 points more friendly to John McCain than the actual vote in the state. There are a couple possible reasons for this. One is that folks who have soured on Obama may not be admitting that they voted for him in the first time. The more likely explanation though is something we already saw play itself out in New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts- a much higher percentage of McCain voters are planning to come back out this year than folks who voted for Obama.

There still aren't a whole lot of Obama voters planning to go for the Republicans this year. If the 2010 electorate was the same as the 2008 electorate we'd have Arlen Specter leading Pat Toomey, Alexi Giannoulias leading Mark Kirk, Tom Barrett leading Scott Walker, and Jennifer Brunner leading Rob Portman. But all four of those Democratic candidates are losing right now because McCain voters are more energized than Obama ones to come out and vote this fall. Perhaps the party will find a way to change that by November, but it certainly didn't in any of the statewide races we've had so far since Obama took office.

Here's the data on our recent polls:


2008 Result

Breakdown of Recent Poll








McCain +8



Obama +4

McCain +2



Obama +10

Obama +1



Obama +14

Obama +5



Christian Liberty said...

What would explain the lack of support, the "enthusiasm gap"? The Democrat agenda is so radical and so harmful to America that one tenth (or more) of those who voted for Obama won't support it any longer.

Stephanie said...

Midterm electorates are more Republican anyway; they're older, and the Obama coalition was almost uniquely young (more so than other Dem electorates-- till 2004 there wasn't a big age gap); some of the Obama voters were irregular voters who supported him, not Dems in general, and won't show up unless he's on the ballot (esp. true for some younger voters of color); some independents are probably disappointed in him or disillusioned because the economy is still pretty bad; and (Tom has written about this factor elsewhere) a lot of religious conservatives stayed home in 2008 because they thought McCain wasn't one of them, but those conservatives are voting this time. The important unanswered question is "What the heck should the Dems do about it?" Passing health care reform seems to have helped-- but not enough. I don't know what would be enough.

Christian Liberty said...

Passing a tyrannical government takeover of healthcare HURT the Democrats' chances. Any intelligent Democrat in any competitive district would be smart to renounce Obamacare and support its repeal. America will vote for the repeal of Obamacare. The only way for vulnerable Democrats to become more popular is to advocate the repeal of Obamacare, which a majority of likely voters continue to support.

Anonymous said...

There is clearly an enthuiasm gap this year, leaning quite heavily on the side of the Republican candidates. Obama and his left leaning agenda is taking it's toll on the Dems and will continue to do so THRU this November's elections. The current polling numbers alone don't even begin to reflect just how bad it really is for Obama and his Party. When its all said and done this coming November, I suspect that we'll see a 5% - 7% differential between the numbers we're seeing now and those made in the final tally, favoring the Republican candidates. Lets face it, sitting in the comforts of one's home responding to a few polling questions is a far cry from actually getting out and voting. While those on the right (Republican voters) seem to be reved up and ready to go (vote), the same does not appear to be true for the potential Democratic voters.

By the way, John McCain is, for all practical purposes, a non sequitur. The political landscape has been dramatically changed since the 2008 Presidential elections. In fact, McCain is now struggling for his political life, against his fellow Republican foe, J. D. Hayworth. in Arizona's Senatorial primaries. By the standards of TODAY (versus 2008), McCain is considered as being too moderate by most Republicans - particularly so by those considered to be more conservative in their political views. So please Tom, no more John McCain comparisons. They would, at this point, be irrelevant.

Christian Liberty said...

Now 58% of likely voters favor repeal of Obamacare and 50% of likely voters STRONGLY favor repeal.(Rasmussen Apr 12)

Obamacare is only feeding a more intense pro-Republican enthusiasm gap.

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