Enthusiasm gap for Democrats?

posted at 1:36 pm on November 30, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The first rule for defense attorneys and political activists: don’t ask questions to which you really don’t want to hear the answers.  Daily Kos discovered that in its newly-commissioned poll from last week, in which they discovered that Republicans are three times less likely to skip voting in the midterm elections as Democrats.  In fact, up to 40% of the latter don’t plan to vote at all:

Forty percent of self-identified Democratic voters say they are “not likely” or “definitely” won’t vote in next year’s Congressional elections, according to a little-noticed poll released over the Thanksgiving weekend.

The poll, which surveyed 2,400 Americans nationwide between Nov. 22 and Nov. 25, found that self-identified Republicans were three times more likely to say they were going to vote next year. The results suggest perilous fights for Democrats in the midterm elections, where the president’s party typically lose seats.

Steve Benen captured the most significant data:

Among self-identified Republican voters, 81% are either “definitely” voting next year or “probably” voting, while 14% are “not likely” to vote or will “definitely” not vote.

Among self-identified Independent voters, 65% are either “definitely” voting next year or “probably” voting, while 23% are “not likely” to vote or will “definitely” not vote.

And among self-identified Democratic voters, 56% are either “definitely” voting next year or “probably” voting, while 40% are “not likely” to vote or will “definitely” not vote.

Given how independents have broken with Obama and the Democrats, the heightened enthusiasm among unaffiliated voters is not good news for Democrats or Obama.  Unfortunately for Democrats, Benen offers the hair of the dog as political advice.  He says that Democrats have to push through ObamaCare, cap-and-trade, and take on both immigration reform and Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell to resolve their enthusiasm problem.

Of course, that’s what created the problem in the first place.  Democrats believed they had a mandate for a progressive agenda after 2008, even though Obama himself specifically ran as a moderate whose “change” would be tonal rather than a radical shift in policy.  The flight of independents are a testament to Democratic overreach on all of those issues, plus the failure of the Democrats to meaningfully address unemployment as well as budget-busting deficits.

Of course, Benen may be offering those suggestions as a check list to be completed before voters give them the boot from Capitol Hill.  Some have suggested that very approach more openly; Michael Bennet, whose re-election to the Senate seems less and less likely, has already said that he’d accept losing his seat as a trade-off for ObamaCare.  House Democrats in conservative districts have already made that choice.  If Bennet’s colleagues in the upper chamber agree, Reid can pass this and all of the other progressive agenda items whenever he wants.  The fact that he can barely get enough votes to open debate on ObamaCare strongly suggests that the people whose livelihoods are at stake understand that the hair of the dog only puts off the hangover — and eventually makes it much worse.

Update: Fixed the opening paragraph.  Originally it read that Republicans are three times more likely to vote, but that was a misread of the data.  They’re three times less likely to skip voting in the midterms, which is not the same thing.


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Dems should do everybody a favor and all not vote.

trigon on November 30, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Come on, that Kos poll is garbage, even the parts we might like. They have McConnell and Boehner in the -50% territory on fav/unfav. While I am no fan of many congressional R’s, there is no way more than 20% of the population even know who John Boehner is.

Clark1 on November 30, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Michael Bennet, whose re-election to the Senate seems less and less likely, has already said that he’d accept losing his seat as a trade-off for ObamaCare.

My favorite line from It’s a Wonderful Life:

“Here’s yer hat; what’s yer hurry?”

Akzed on November 30, 2009 at 1:39 PM

I enthusiastically await Dhimmicarps being handed their butts in the elections next year.

NoFanofLibs on November 30, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Dems should do everybody a favor and all not vote.

trigon on November 30, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Or at least, just vote ONCE.

Juno77 on November 30, 2009 at 1:41 PM

ACORN voters will be at 133%

bbz123 on November 30, 2009 at 1:46 PM

Acorn is being given back the ability of receive funding from the dems. That should take care of any gap in voting by R’s and indies.

Kissmygrits on November 30, 2009 at 1:48 PM

People tend to withdraw and have trouble trusting others after they’ve fallen for a con artist.

Jim Treacher on November 30, 2009 at 1:49 PM

OT: Gibbsy having a difficult time explaining away the party crashers issue….
tee hee

cmsinaz on November 30, 2009 at 1:50 PM

Kissmygrits on November 30, 2009 at 1:48 PM

afraid you are right…

a big thank you from holder

cmsinaz on November 30, 2009 at 1:52 PM

Michael Bennet, whose re-election to the Senate seems less and less likely, has already said that he’d accept losing his seat as a trade-off for ObamaCare.

Suicide legislators.
Banzai?

Count to 10 on November 30, 2009 at 1:53 PM

ACORN voters will be at 133%

bbz123 on November 30, 2009 at 1:46 PM

Eric Holder is working on that right now!

bluegrass on November 30, 2009 at 1:53 PM

People tend to withdraw and have trouble trusting others after they’ve fallen for a con artist.

Jim Treacher on November 30, 2009 at 1:49 PM

…and no-one is easier to con than a con artist.

Count to 10 on November 30, 2009 at 1:53 PM

Douchebag libs are under the assumption that the election survivors won’t run like scalded cats to repeal whatever disasters they enacted before they too are driven from office.

Not too many Pyrrhans running around these days.

Bishop on November 30, 2009 at 1:56 PM

From Hope and Change to despair and gridlock.

I don’t know who this Despair fellow is, but I got nothing to do with thost guys…

gridlock2 on November 30, 2009 at 1:56 PM

I hope every one of these liberals who pushed for Obama gets elected out.

And those who don’t… we should just call the States who kept them in and tell them they lost all federal funding.

upinak on November 30, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Ed, speaking of enthusiasm, you still have yours for the Steelers? Maybe you could predict them to lose so they can win!!!

Tom

marinetbryant on November 30, 2009 at 2:02 PM

And those who don’t… we should just call the States who kept them in and tell them they lost all federal funding.

upinak on November 30, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Hey, now, no going over to the dark side.
Or, did you mean that as part of all states losing federal funding? Because, I could go for that.

Count to 10 on November 30, 2009 at 2:04 PM

Just look at who I surround myself with and you will get to know who I am.

Are you the head of the Clown Union or are you ACORNS biggest nut?

Words, just words. Change is a coming Uncle Jed or my name is not Barack Bodene…….

bluegrass on November 30, 2009 at 2:06 PM

Time for CBS/NYT polls to up there percentage of donks to 55%.

jukin on November 30, 2009 at 2:06 PM

I think the pundits are pushing to pass legislation fast because there are simply overwhelming signs that people can’t wait to vote out the progressive agenda.

I can’t see too many Dems actually willing to fall on the sword, however, for unpopular bills.

AnninCA on November 30, 2009 at 2:06 PM

I think the real question is what the turnout from Illinois graveyards will be.

snaggletoothie on November 30, 2009 at 2:09 PM

Democrats lose control of both the House of Representatives and Senate is “change that works foe me”

ya2daup on November 30, 2009 at 2:09 PM

Hype and chains.

mchristian on November 30, 2009 at 2:09 PM

I can’t see too many Dems actually willing to fall on the sword, however, for unpopular bills.

AnninCA on November 30, 2009 at 2:06 PM

It isn’t falling on their sword if they are going to get the ax anyway.
Beware the desperation of the despondent.

Count to 10 on November 30, 2009 at 2:11 PM

It isn’t falling on their sword if they are going to get the ax anyway.
Beware the desperation of the despondent.

Count to 10 on November 30, 2009 at 2:11 PM

Gosh, does any politician believe the polls until the last minute?

I doubt it.

AnninCA on November 30, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Hopefully this will make Reid less likely to use the nuclear option, because it will be even easier to kill it on purely budgetary grounds with just 50%. Shouldn’t be hard to get Zero to sign the repeal since he has no backbone.

pedestrian on November 30, 2009 at 2:12 PM

CAUTION: LEFTIST ENTHUSIAM GAP AHEAD!

Be mindful of vengeful personal attacks, distortions, misinformation, fear mongering, race baiting, Bush bashing, Cheney bashing, and Palin bashing ahead!

Time to don the flack jackets there troopers!

HondaV65 on November 30, 2009 at 2:21 PM

My favorite line from It’s a Wonderful Life:

“Here’s yer hat; what’s yer hurry?”

Akzed on November 30, 2009 at 1:39 PM

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!

huskerdiva on November 30, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Perino for President

Dems are still running against “the last eight years” and most of the conservative talking heads don’t know enough history to even counter the most glarting falsehoods.

For example, on Fox yesterday, the Dems stated that the Republicans controlled the whole government for eight years. Not a great issue but if the GOP can’t marshal facts to counter such an obvious “mistake”, how can conservatives expect them to handle detailed policy questions on national security and the economy?

They have to rehabilitate the Bush administration, at least to a degree, or risk giving the Dems a safe refuge. With the way things are developing, most Dems would rather set the debate anywhere to keep from visiting the toxic areas of the present government.

Karl Rove needs to do a web site, Oprah and everything else he can, even if only to provide a source of talking points in defense of the Bush years. Moreover, even the feint of a candidate like former VP Cheney might help to show the Bush administration as it was, and not as the left would like to portray it.

Then we have the lovely lady above who makes Kirsten Powers and the many others on Fox look like novices. She is a sophisticated, stealthy version of commonsense, polished Republicanism and would make a great replacement for Huck.

IlikedAUH2O on November 30, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Maybe the idiots in this country are finally waking up – it’s about time even thought we’ve had democrats in charge for the past 80+ years and it’s always the same song and dance, same promises and courruptions, same hopes and changes. It’s like the definition of insanity: keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result and outcome.

mozalf on November 30, 2009 at 2:31 PM

The nutroots thought the Obamessiah would lead them to a New Age of Gay Marriage, De-Christianization, and Republican banishing. They are just mad they were so wrong.

Speedwagon82 on November 30, 2009 at 2:37 PM

People tend to withdraw and have trouble trusting others after they’ve fallen for a con artist.

Jim Treacher on November 30, 2009 at 1:49 PM

Bingo!

There are 3 kinds of Obama voters in this world:

The Hard lefties who knew his shtick was a scam all along and were laughing their collective asses off on Election Night,

The Casual Donks who vote for anyone with a (D) after their name, who are now a bit dazed and confused about who this guy is turning out to be, and

The Indies and Self-deluding RINO’s who are getting over being horrified by what they’ve done and are now getting really, really pissed about being had.

Oh, almost forgot, their is a fourth category: those of us who knew he was a deceptive, arrogant, narcissistic manipulator from the get go.

Being ahead of the curve eventually has it’s rewards.

Bruno Strozek on November 30, 2009 at 2:48 PM

Do you suppose some of those dems with consciences are ashamed of what they have done?

PaCadle on November 30, 2009 at 3:01 PM

You do realize that you can replace the “D” with a “R” when it is the Republican’s turn to get elected, right? This is simply part of the endless political cycle where the “team” that is out of office is able to ridicule the “team” that is in power.

It is a lot easier to ridicule than it is to rule. However, in the meantime please continue your cheering for your individual “teams”. Maybe next time will be different.

One thing for sure however. Rush Limbaugh’s ratings are higher when a “D” is in office. What “team” do you really think he is on?

Decider on November 30, 2009 at 3:01 PM

The Kos is a vile and decietful entity and I do not trust their data…they are up to something.

royzer on November 30, 2009 at 3:04 PM

Douchebag libs are under the assumption that the election survivors won’t run like scalded cats to repeal whatever disasters they enacted before they too are driven from office.

This has been exactly my thinking from the beginning. Conventional wisdom tells us that no entitlement program can be touched once it’s enacted.

When something this destructive and unpopular is made law the opposite will become the norm. All entitlement programs will be questioned.

Dorvillian on November 30, 2009 at 3:24 PM

Decider on November 30, 2009 at 3:01 PM

Wow. What a fresh and exciting statement. I’ve never really thought of it that way before.

You’ve really made me think.

But that last statement…well, that’s just common knowledge.

Yeah, Rush is really a liberal that gets the great unwashed all worked up while he secretly gets his liberal leaders voted into office.

Wish I could offer kudos on that one, but we’ve all known about Rush’s little game for years now.

Dorvillian on November 30, 2009 at 3:32 PM

Verrrrrry interesting!

If the electorate is about 37% Democrats and 56% of them vote, that’s 20.7% of the total electorate.

If the electorate is about 31% Republicans and 81% of them vote, that’s 25.1% of the total electorate.

Based on turnout, if these statistics hold up, and each party’s base votes for its own candidates, Republicans have a 4.4% edge before the Indies vote. If the Indies split down the middle, the Republicans should re-take the House.

Since many polls have showed Independents massively opposed to ObamaCare, Democrats vote for it at their own risk!

Steve Z on November 30, 2009 at 3:36 PM

Chris Matthews Compares Obama To Neville Chamberlain
Monday, November 30, 2009 3:14:03 PM · by Free ThinkerNY · 24 replies · 571+ views
newsbusters.org ^ | Nov. 29, 2009 | Noel Sheppard
A week after calling Barack Obama “Carteresque,” Chris “Tingles Up My Leg” Matthews said the former object of his affection is “Too much Chamberlain and not enough Churchill.”

Apparently, for Chris Matthews, that “tingles up my leg” feeling has been replaced by a “trickles down my leg” feeling.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on November 30, 2009 at 3:44 PM

It is a lot easier to ridicule than it is to rule.

You’ve just written Obama’s last speech.

BobMbx on November 30, 2009 at 3:45 PM

Could this just be Kos trying to wake up the base?

njcommuter on November 30, 2009 at 4:06 PM

Obama will be playing, ‘You’ve lost that loving feeling’ after next year’s mid terms. The only question is how badly he and his fellow socialist democraps have hurt this country before the next Congress takes office in 2011. It is also a lesson for repubs when they retake Congress, to do what they promise but don’t overreach. They will also have to have a plan if Obama starts to veto budget bills like Bill Clinton did with the media rampaging against repubs for ‘shutting down the government’. However with these massive deficits perhaps there might be less anger against repubs if there is another show down with Barack Lenin Hosanna? Time will tell.

eaglewingz08 on November 30, 2009 at 5:11 PM

Isn’t the turnout for mid-tems something like 30%? So it stands to reason that 70% of Dems and 70% of Republicans – give or take – don’t ever vote in mid-terms.

I’m not sure why a poll that says 40% of Dems won’t be voting is such a big to-do.

angryed on November 30, 2009 at 6:27 PM

Damn, I’m gettin enthusiastic over this news.

Sapwolf on November 30, 2009 at 6:27 PM

How many Dems that voted more than once did they poll???

seven on November 30, 2009 at 7:23 PM

Michael Bennet, whose re-election to the Senate seems less and less likely, has already said that he’d accept losing his seat as a trade-off for ObamaCare

How about you lose your seat AND we ditch gov’t hijack of healthcare? I like it-KILL THE BILL.

indypat on December 1, 2009 at 7:54 AM

Gibbs: umm, err….ahh…Bush’s fault.

Vote them out in 2010.

dthorny on December 1, 2009 at 11:31 AM