Voter enthusiasm down from 2010, especially among Democrats

posted at 5:21 pm on May 12, 2014 by Bruce McQuain

Midterm elections are usually low turnout affairs that inspire less enthusiasm among voters when compared to election years when the presidency is at stake. But, per Gallup,  it appears this November’s midterms may demonstrate less enthusiasm than the 2010 midterm elections. And that’s bad news for Democrats seeking to keep their numbers up in Congress.

A majority of U.S. registered voters, 53%, say they are less enthusiastic about voting than in previous elections, while 35% are more enthusiastic. This 18-percentage-point enthusiasm deficit is larger than what Gallup has measured in prior midterm election years, particularly in 2010 when there was record midterm enthusiasm.

Among registered voters, 42% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents currently say they are more enthusiastic than usual about voting, while 50% are less enthusiastic, resulting in an eight-point enthusiasm deficit. But Democrats are even less enthusiastic, with a 23-point deficit (32% more enthusiastic vs. 55% less enthusiastic).

In midterm elections here Republicans have enjoyed a lead in enthusiasm among voters, they’ve done pretty well:

Typically, the party whose supporters have an advantage in enthusiasm has done better in midterm elections. Republicans had decided advantages in enthusiasm in 1994, 2002, and especially 2010 — years in which they won control of the House of Representatives or expanded on their existing majority. Democrats had the advantage in 2006, the year they won control of the House. Neither party had a decided advantage in 1998, a year Democrats posted minimal gains in House seats.

Obviously, every election is determined by which party is able to turn out the most voters. Enthusiasm among voters goes along way toward ensuring a good voter turn out. On the other hand, when enthusiasm is low among a voting group, the efforts of GOTV efforts are much less fruitful. And that is what the Gallup numbers portend for Democrats this time around.

However, as Gallup points out, although Republicans hold an advantage the enthusiasm for Republicans is nowhere near what it was in 2010:

The thought and enthusiasm measures together suggest a mixed picture for Republicans. On one hand, it seems clear that 2014 will not be a repeat of 2010, when record Republican enthusiasm presaged major gains for the party in Congress. This year, Republicans’ reported enthusiasm not only pales in comparison to 2010, but also to every other midterm election year.

However, Republicans still maintain advantages in thought given to the election and in voter enthusiasm compared with Democrats, and these advantages normally point to a better year for Republicans than Democrats. There is some uncertainty about how that will play out this year given that both Republicans and Democrats say they are less enthusiastic than usual about voting — something that has occasionally occurred in past midterm election years but never over the course of an entire midterm campaign.

So the questions are:

1) Can Republicans at least maintain and hopefully build up their edge.

2) Will those voters leaning Republican be turned off by the focus of establishment Republicans on savaging the so-called “Tea Party” candidates?

3) Can Democrats find a way between now and November to up the enthusiasm quotient of their base, and if so how?

4) Will Democrats run to or from Obama?

5) Assuming Republicans maintain the enthusiasm edge, will it be enough for Republicans to take the Senate?

We’ll see.

~McQ


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

I don’t identify as liberal, I identify as progressive-marxist.

libfreeordie on April 30, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Schadenfreude on May 12, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Is the enthusiasm gap enough to win the Senate for Republicans?

No

Schadenfreude on May 12, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Jamming amnesty down our throats will allow the GOP to depress republican turnout. No help required by the fascist democrats.

jukin3 on May 12, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Nope.

kcewa on May 12, 2014 at 5:26 PM

AoS Backup Site

AoS Outage Announement

Apologies to managment in advance but other readers have been asking.

gh on May 12, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Is the enthusiasm gap enough to win the Senate for Republicans?

“What difference at this point does it make?”

I think it’s pretty clear they’re not going to repeal Obummercare, and will probably raise gas and other taxes, and will go forward (!) with amnesty.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 12, 2014 at 5:28 PM

I’m all worried about Arkansas now. Screw you, Marist/NBC!

Texas Zombie on May 12, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Voter enthusiasm down from 2010, especially among Democrats

I think that six months out is far too long to guage voter enthusiasm on election day. And the filthy Dems don’t seem to be having trouble raising money for the criminals that infest their party. Plus some GOP candidate is apt to say something that either legitimately outrages the left or (more likely) gives the left an opportunity of manufacture outrage- look up Macaca for an example.

Happy Nomad on May 12, 2014 at 5:30 PM

OT .. Clay Aiken’s runoff opponent has died from a fall in his home, apparently.

http://courier-tribune.com/news/congressional-candidate-keith-crisco-dies-suddenly-home

pambi on May 12, 2014 at 5:32 PM

pambi on May 12, 2014 at 5:32 PM

There’s already a thread up …

gh on May 12, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Bummer Dude….

Bmore on May 12, 2014 at 5:34 PM

gh on May 12, 2014 at 5:33 PM

It wasn’t while I attempting to get HA to accept a link .. LOL.

pambi on May 12, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Apologies to managment in advance but other readers have been asking.

gh on May 12, 2014 at 5:26 PM

my enthusiasm is below zero but thanks for that

DanMan on May 12, 2014 at 5:37 PM

My enthusiasm as a Conservative is down because my former party, the GOP, has declared war on me, continues to push for amnesty, and want’s to “keep and fix” ObamaCare.

Meanwhile, just for posting this, I risk no only being audited and persecuted by the IRS, but I’m probably being targeted for a drone strike right n

Meople on May 12, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Good

Anyone know why Ace is down?

avi natan on May 12, 2014 at 5:38 PM

I am not enthusiastic. I am determined to vote against every democrat that I can.

Texas Zombie on May 12, 2014 at 5:28 PM

That was their intent. And it looks like they succeeded.

cozmo on May 12, 2014 at 5:40 PM

avi natan on May 12, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Server caught fire. Not only Ace but all of mu.nu is down (there are a bunch of other blogs delegated by that domain — jawa report for one).

gh on May 12, 2014 at 5:40 PM

Maybe they are just adding pretty buttons to the site.

Bmore on May 12, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Right now my enthusiasm is geared toward getting Lindsey Graham out of the Senate. It’s pretty bad that to get a Democrat out of office you have to beat him in the Republican primary.

The SC Republican primary is June 10th. I urge all SC voters to go to the polls and help us get that amnesty shill out of there.

https://richardcashforsenate.com/

backwoods conservative on May 12, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Don’t get too carried away with the lead, the GOP still needs a message of what they are for ,even if that message is a simple as they are for less government.

Tater Salad on May 12, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Boehner and McConnell will have this fixed in August when they bring Immigration reform up and force feed it down our throats and telling us what position we should be in to enjoy the raping better.

astonerii on May 12, 2014 at 5:50 PM

Don’t get too carried away with the lead, the GOP still needs a message of what they are for ,even if that message is a simple as they are for less government.

Tater Salad on May 12, 2014 at 5:44 PM

The “leadership” in the GOP isn’t for less government. They’ve declared war on the people that want less government, and are doing their best to purge every one of them from the party.

Meople on May 12, 2014 at 5:51 PM

If Boehner rams through an amnesty deal this summer is it worth not retaking the Senate to send him a message?

butch on May 12, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Go figure when your choices are douchebags, the only difference being the political designation after their name.

I know I know, the GOP long-game that will come to fruition in 2064 when they repeal everything. Uh huh, can’t wait.

Bishop on May 12, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Will those voters leaning Republican be turned off by the focus of establishment Republicans on savaging the so-called “Tea Party” candidates?

It depends who ends up winning the primaries I suppose, and how the establishment reacts. Looks like Sasse is going to defeat establishment favorite Osbourne.

Will the establishment get behind Sasse or not? They are quick to call for “unity” when their own wins a primary, not so good about supporting conservatives who defeat the RINOS.

cat_owner on May 12, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Go figure when your choices are douchebags, the only difference being the political designation after their name.

I know I know, the GOP long-game that will come to fruition in 2064 when they repeal everything. Uh huh, can’t wait.

Bishop on May 12, 2014 at 5:52 PM

The long game is kicking the GOP out of power for at least long enough for them to contemplate on conservatism for a while. Obviously 2006 through 2010 was not long enough.
Personally, I do not think there is any hope left of turning this ship around.

astonerii on May 12, 2014 at 5:56 PM

The Republicans are known for grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory and they aren’t doing any better right now to give us a reason to vote for them.

Duna on May 12, 2014 at 6:01 PM

However, as Gallup points out, although Republicans hold an advantage the enthusiasm for Republicans is nowhere near what it was in 2010..

..Keeeee-rist, McQ! The last six years has been enough to depress anyone! After all of the truck that has gone on with that pile of diarrhea POTUS and ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE in Congress, I am just *this* short of reaching for a bottle of Nembutal, a loaded .45, and a quart of Jack Black.

Yeah, it’s that bad!

The War Planner on May 12, 2014 at 6:11 PM

However, as Gallup points out, although Republicans hold an advantage the enthusiasm for Republicans is nowhere near what it was in 2010:

In 2010 I enthusiastically voted for the GOP. This year I am enthusiastic about the quick (though painful) political death of the GOP. The Vichy GOP are nothing but a bunch of treasonous slime who side with the America-hating dems and the third-world retard at every opportunity. They need to just go away. All of them.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 12, 2014 at 6:12 PM

No Who the f**k cares!

Schadenfreude on May 12, 2014 at 5:24 PM

..respectfully FIFY, bro.

The War Planner on May 12, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Republicans still maintain advantages in thought given to the election and in voter enthusiasm compared with Democrats

Yea ….

Chuck Ef on May 12, 2014 at 6:16 PM

With some of the policies the GOPe is pushing, I’m having a hard time feeling the need to bother voting for them nationally (House/Senate), and in terms of the state (gov., etc) the GOPe has done all it can to piss me off and pick my pockets, so they’re not exactly winning my vote there as well.

Neither party represents me anymore. The Dems are a bunch of godless hedonistic pagans in the pocket of the pervs, and the GOPe is a big-government-loving, let’s talk about abortion but accomplish little, let’s forget about traditional marriage and pass amnesty, bunch of weasels.

They’re both useless.

Right now my enthusiasm is geared toward getting Lindsey Graham out of the Senate.

backwoods conservative on May 12, 2014 at 5:44 PM

You have a better shot at winning the Powerball than getting him out. He’s a lifer. SC seems to like lifers (cough-Thurmond-cough).

xNavigator on May 12, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Is the enthusiasm gap enough to win the Senate for Republicans?

No

Schadenfreude on May 12, 2014 at 5:24 PM

If Nate Silver says it is — Book It.

I predict a gain of eight with no GOP seats lost. Brown is moving up on Shaheen in NH. Iowa is looking more like a possible toss up. I don’t believe polls that Pryor is winning hands down in Arkansas. The idea that following the leads on Benghazi will invigorate the Dem base sounds far-fetched. The LIV will not be moved by that because they will pay no more attention than they did on the IRS scandal or Fast and Furious. The MSM cannot simultaneously ignore a story and crank-up anger over it.

KW64 on May 12, 2014 at 6:29 PM

2) Will those voters leaning Republican be turned off by the focus of establishment Republicans on savaging the so-called “Tea Party” candidates?

The war is over and the Tea Party lost sadly. We/They tried to do too much too soon and paid the price. A slow steady campaign behind a few candidates early on would have shown the established Republicans that they need to listen and I think they might have after a small number of real conservatives got in.

Everyone in the Tea Party expected everything to happen overnight and that is not the way our Country works.

Trying to change Congress in one or two election cycles was never going to work and was a bad strategy that had zero chance of working. DC does not and can’t change in a couple of years so a Blitz wasn’t ever going to work.

And people who continually say they are going to vote Dem now or will sit out the next election are a huge part of the problem. They want everything and they want it now and if they don’t get a complete turnover of DC in the next election cycle they will take their ball and go home. They are the big roadblock to any real change in DC.

Johnnyreb on May 12, 2014 at 6:29 PM

You have a better shot at winning the Powerball than getting him out. He’s a lifer. SC seems to like lifers (cough-Thurmond-cough).

xNavigator on May 12, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Thurmond wasn’t so bad. It was keeping Hollings in there for so long that was embarrassing.

Anything can change. While it is true that none of Graham’s opponents individually are whipping him in the polls, the hope is that all of them together can draw enough votes away from him to force a runoff, with the opposition to Graham uniting behind whoever faces him in the runoff.

I just talked to Richard Cash this morning. He and his daughter were parked at the corner of a busy intersection during morning rush hour drawing attention to his campaign. Gotta love a man whose campaign vehicle is an ice cream truck.

backwoods conservative on May 12, 2014 at 6:31 PM

And people who continually say they are going to vote Dem now or will sit out the next election are a huge part of the problem.

I’m sitting out. I won’t vote for treasonous scum, which is exactly what the Vichy GOP are.

They want everything and they want it now and if they don’t get a complete turnover of DC in the next election cycle they will take their ball and go home. They are the big roadblock to any real change in DC.

Johnnyreb on May 12, 2014 at 6:29 PM

Oh please … The Vichy GOP had more than a handful of “must-pass” VRs and debt limit raises, which they could have leveraged into … something. Anything. But, instead, they chose to collude wity Barky and the dems and stab me in the back. They can go screw themselves. I wouldn’t vote for any of those dirtbags if you paid me.

This has nothing to do with your harping about “take their ball and go home” BS. The leverage was there but the Vichy GOP went OUT OF THEIR WAY to rush treasonous deals with barky and the left through instead of standing up for any little bit of Constitutionality. And, amid all of the clearly un-Constitutional acts by Barky and the illegal actions of he and his junta the GOP have done … NOTHING. NOT ONE THING. They have been happy to see the Constitution trod upon and spit upon by people who hate the very idea of the American Constitutional Republic. You want to vote for those sorts of douchebag traitors? Good for you. Don’t try and get all high and mighty about those of us with those of us who can actually think and have decided otherwise.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 12, 2014 at 6:38 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 12, 2014 at 6:38 PM

The only time the house stood up was in order to embarrass the Tea Party Caucus it detests so much.
If you are not willing to stand and fight to the end, do not stand up. But Boehner did just that with the credibility of the Tea Party and he used it intently to shut them down.

astonerii on May 12, 2014 at 6:41 PM

Call me crazy but if we had started that third party in 2010 we would be in a much better position than starting it in 14.

jukin3 on May 12, 2014 at 6:53 PM

If Boehner rams through an amnesty deal this summer is it worth not retaking the Senate to send him a message?

butch on May 12, 2014 at 5:51 PM

it will be for me …. I for one will stay home …
Kay can keep her seat …

conservative tarheel on May 12, 2014 at 7:09 PM

Personally, I do not think there is any hope left of turning this ship around.

astonerii on May 12, 2014 at 5:56 PM

buy ammo … dry food and silver …. cuz when (not if – when) it falls
it is gonna be ugly ….

conservative tarheel on May 12, 2014 at 7:14 PM

…you don’t expect Republicans to screw things up?
…they haven’t let us down yet!

KOOLAID2 on May 12, 2014 at 7:15 PM

2) Will those voters leaning Republican be turned off by the focus of establishment Republicans on savaging the so-called “Tea Party” candidates?

Maybe “establishment” and Tea-Party Republicans need to stop savaging each other, and each primary candidate needs to explain how and why his/her policy is best for the American people, without berating the others. Once the primary is over in each state, all Republican candidates need to unite behind the primary winner to beat the Democrat.

We can’t get anything done in Congress without 51 Republican Senators, be they Tea Party or RINO or somewhere in between. We can’t stop Obama from confirming his radicals to the Cabinet or the judicial bench without 51 Republican Senators. Let’s focus on getting the best candidate to beat the Democrat in all Senate races, and push him/her over the finish line in November, and leave the sniping and name-calling to the Democrats.

Steve Z on May 12, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Call me crazy but if we had started that third party in 2010 we would be in a much better position than starting it in 14.

jukin3 on May 12, 2014 at 6:53 PM

One of the main problems I’ve always had with third parties is that they only seem to rattle their swords for national presidential elections. They should start at the local level, and if successful there, move up. Prove to the voting public that your particular ideology works.

Now, I know in the past the Socialists occupied the mayor’s office in the city hall of Milwaukee and one can look at that as being not that big of a deal…I mean, a city has a “too big too fail” aura about it and can be supported by what’s around it, the state, and the federal government at large…so the “system” (capitalist, constitutional Republic) can make up for much of their incompetence.

But I feel they at least had the right tactic over a half century ago instead of just jumping into the fray every four years.

True, it probably does take time to develop a viable political party.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 12, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Thurmond wasn’t so bad. It was keeping Hollings in there for so long that was embarrassing.

backwoods conservative on May 12, 2014 at 6:31 PM

I’ll grant you that, but I still find the idea of a 100-year-old Senator anathema to the idea of citizen legislators. Too many stay too long in office.

xNavigator on May 12, 2014 at 8:26 PM