Pew: Number of Democrats who are more enthusiastic than usual to vote in midterms hits lowest point in 20 years

posted at 7:21 pm on July 24, 2014 by Allahpundit

For once, I gave you the good news right up front in the headline.

The bad news is that Republican enthusiasm is way down too from its stratospheric 2010 levels.

Today, the Republicans lead on a number of key engagement indicators, though in some cases by smaller margins than four years ago. Currently, 45% of registered voters who plan to support the Republican in their district say they are more enthusiastic about voting than in prior congressional elections; that compares with 37% of those who plan to vote for the Democratic candidate. The GOP had a 13-point enthusiasm advantage at this point in the midterm campaign four years ago (55% to 42%) and the Democrats held a 17-point advantage eight years ago (47% to 30%).

Democrats are down five points from four years ago; the GOP is down 10 points. That’s still good enough for an eight-point lead in enthusiasm, and the number of Republicans who say they’re absolutely certain to vote is statistically the same as it was in 2010, but if you’re looking for reasons to go full eeyore and doubt that the GOP can produce another wave, there you go. As pitiful as Democratic enthusiasm is right now (driven in part by an eight-point drop among Dems when asked if Obama is a factor in their vote this November), the gap between them and Republicans has actually shrunk since the last midterm.

Here’s a graph from Pew’s release today that caught my eye because of the Democratic trendline. I get it, and yet … I don’t get it.

control

Rationally, both parties should be trending downward from 2010 to 2014 for the simple reason that it doesn’t much matter who controls the Senate in 2015 and 2016. If Democrats hold onto the majority, the Republican-run House will block them. If Republicans retake the Senate, the Democrat-run White House will block Congress. It’s the least important election in years, and obviously much less important than 2010 was. If Democrats had held onto the House that year, Congress would have passed a massive amnesty by now, some form of gun control, and maybe a carbon tax (but probably not). To an informed voter, the Democratic trend here is inexplicable. But that’s just it — lots of voters aren’t voting based on information but on mood. In 2010, they were exhausted from two huge election cycles in a row and glum after the passage of ObamaCare, which liberals disliked because it wasn’t socialist enough and everyone else disliked because it was too socialist. They should have gone to the polls en masse in the name of capitalizing on their advantages, but depressed voters can’t be reasoned with. Especially when they’re poorly informed: I guarantee you that huge chunks of Democrats in this poll think it’s possible that their party might take back the House this fall. It isn’t, but if you didn’t know that, you too might be psyched to try to break the gridlock and give Obama a Democratic Congress for the remainder of his term.

This graph is interesting too, as it’s solid evidence of the establishment/tea party divide:

gopapprove

In Democratic districts, more than half of Democratic voters approve of the incumbent. In Republican districts, fewer than half of Republicans do — fully 12 points less than Democrats. I’m tempted to say that that’s the tea party effect in action: If you assume that 55-60 percent is baseline approval for any incumbent for either party along mostly partisan lines, it may be that centrist Republicans are getting a double whammy of disapproval from Democrats and local grassroots conservatives. You can see further evidence of that when voters are asked if their representative’s spent too long in D.C. The Republican numbers are 10 points higher than the Democratic ones, which jibes with tea partiers’ objections to long-time careerists like Thad Cochran. It’s especially striking too given that so many Republican members of Congress are new to government, having been elected just four years ago. Republican voters should, in theory, have fewer complaints about careerism than Democrats. Instead, the opposite.

But look again at the data, particularly the lines about working well with the other party and caring more about your own party than the good of the country. Those are traditional establishment complaints about tea partiers — and they seem to show up in the data here. Republicans are 10 points less likely to say their congressman works will with the opposition than Democrats are and they’re eight points more likely to say their rep puts his own party above his country. What you’re seeing, I think, is the reverse of what I described above, i.e. some tea-party congressmen getting a double whammy of disapproval from Democrats and centrist Republicans. The GOP divide goes both ways.

Anyway, McCain marveled on Fox last night at Obama’s capacity for self-pity. If you think that’s obnoxious now, imagine how excruciating it’ll be next year if a Republican wave hits this fall after all and he’s stuck dealing with Boehner and McConnell until 2017.


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

November cannot come soon enough

jake-the-goose on July 24, 2014 at 7:22 PM

I wouldn’t want to show my face in public either…..

BigWyo on July 24, 2014 at 7:23 PM

AP-it’s very, very important that we take back the Senate. One word-”judges”. If libs continue to stack the courts with these nut cases, we are in big trouble.

Ta111 on July 24, 2014 at 7:24 PM

And yet the dead and fictional dummycrats will still cast their ballots.

S. D. on July 24, 2014 at 7:26 PM

Dead people are not very enthusiastic.

faraway on July 24, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy!

NYCMike on July 24, 2014 at 7:31 PM

November cannot come soon enough

jake-the-goose on July 24, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Actually, I’d like a little more time, truth be told.

Time to get Rand Paul, time to get Ted Cruz, time to get Mike Lee, time to get Sarah Palin, time to get our guns out there and fire up the base.

Seriously, who are the Dems gonna send out? Frau Pantsuit? She’s puffy after her book tour. Put her through an entire campaign, and we’re going to be looking at “bloated” very quickly…

JohnGalt23 on July 24, 2014 at 7:33 PM

I interpret the “puts party over country” result differentl. If I lived in a GOP district and were I asked that question I would enthusiastically say “yes, my GOP representative cares only about the GOPe and doesn’t do the difficult things necessary to help the country”.

MTF on July 24, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Whats being done to chock point voter fraud?
Let me guess… umm..nothing?

Mimzey on July 24, 2014 at 7:39 PM

It looks like the plan where the DWS and fascistordie both predict that the ‘success’ of Obamacare will excite the base and be something every Democrat wants to run on, isn’t working.

Nor are the WH’s and BO’s efforts to excite and fire up the base with ‘income inequality’, ‘the war on women’, Hobby Lobby ‘denying birth control’, or ‘a do-nothing GOP Congress‘.

That leaves them with more playing of the race card, not to mention…

And yet the dead and fictional dummycrats will still cast their ballots.

S. D. on July 24, 2014 at 7:26 PM

Athos on July 24, 2014 at 7:43 PM

I don’t think Republicans work well with the opposition because they get little if anything in return. I think it can best be described as a negotiated surrender. They got a little bit in the sequester, but quickly rolled it back then rubbed salt in the wound by cutting vets pensions and raising taxes on airline travel.

Wigglesworth on July 24, 2014 at 7:46 PM

JohnGalt23 on July 24, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Your post makes a lot of sense – thanks for making me think differently

jake-the-goose on July 24, 2014 at 7:51 PM

Still think that conservatives are Republicans, AP? Maybe at one time the terms could be used sort of interchangeably, but not in 2014.

The GOP is not Our Team anymore.

Maybe its yours, its certainly merideth’s and jake-the-goose’, petunia’s and the Diva’s, but when I hear the Word Republican, I don’t think that’s me! anymore. And I’m not alone.

And so what if the GOP takes the Senate? Do you honestly think there is the slightest chance the GOPe will completely block Obama’s appointees to the judiciary?

They’ll spit and hiss a bit, but like true pu$$ies they will consent; just as they did by acquiescing to O’s illegal appointees to the NLRB.

Mmmm. How has that enthusiasm thing been workin’ for y’all?

Dolce Far Niente on July 24, 2014 at 7:52 PM

More Hopeum!

JoeHanson on July 24, 2014 at 7:58 PM

November cannot come soon enough

jake-the-goose on July 24, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Don’t set yourself up for disappointment.

cozmo on July 24, 2014 at 7:59 PM

I am hoping that the November elections will be the beginning of the end of tyranny, just like the Normandy landings were. God Save America!

Krupnikas on July 24, 2014 at 8:05 PM

I am hoping that the November elections will be the beginning of the end of tyranny, just like the Normandy landings were. God Save America!

Krupnikas on July 24, 2014 at 8:05 PM

In the end I think we’re all going to take it in the end no matter how it ends.

HiJack on July 24, 2014 at 8:11 PM

This isn’t surprising at all. Voter turn out is way down in many primaries.

cat_owner on July 24, 2014 at 8:15 PM

If things are a little blah on the R side, it’s the Whigs’ doing.

Anywhere there are Tea Partiers running, I’d expect the outlook to be more upbeat.

formwiz on July 24, 2014 at 8:17 PM

The bad news, if the Marquette Law School poll mentioned yesterday is to be believed and applied nationally, is…

…while the lack of enthusiasm among Republicans is translating into unwillingness to vote, the same lack of enthusiasm among DemocRATs is not translating into an unwillingness to vote. Indeed, the Rats are more willing to vote now than they have been since fall 2012.

Steve Eggleston on July 24, 2014 at 8:18 PM

AP-it’s very, very important that we take back the Senate. One word-”judges”. If libs continue to stack the courts with these nut cases, we are in big trouble.

Ta111 on July 24, 2014 at 7:24 PM

One small problem – if you believe that MiniCave McConnell will block even ONE of Teh SCOAMT’s picks to be a Lawgiver-In-Black, I have a bridge to sell you.

Steve Eggleston on July 24, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Keep Obama in preznit, you know?

He gave us a phone!

He gonna do more!

Galtian on July 24, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Nobody wants to vote for an UberDouche or his douchey party.

/Truth

Key West Reader on July 24, 2014 at 8:30 PM

…while the lack of enthusiasm among Republicans is translating into unwillingness to vote, the same lack of enthusiasm among DemocRATs is not translating into an unwillingness to vote. Indeed, the Rats are more willing to vote now than they have been since fall 2012.

Steve Eggleston on July 24, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Day gonna Fight for the right to EBT cards.

Key West Reader on July 24, 2014 at 8:32 PM

In other words, most voters are to ill informed (dumb) to vote.

Vince on July 24, 2014 at 8:34 PM

to = too

Vince on July 24, 2014 at 8:34 PM

I am hoping that the November elections will be the beginning of the end of tyranny, just like the Normandy landings were. God Save America!

Krupnikas on July 24, 2014 at 8:05 PM

Me too, however the troops on D-Day didn’t have to hear things like:

There’s no difference between the Rommel and Patton, none. Those cliffs are tall too.
Midas on June 4 1944 at 8:00 AM

The Germans didn’t attack us at Pearl Harbor, bet you didn’t know that, Really, it’s true, look it up. Bet you were surprised at that bit of uncommon knowledge, huh. Bet you were happy I was here to educate you. We should just support our buddies the Soviets because they are our true allies.
Good Solid B-Plus on June 3 1944 at 2:10 PM

LET IT BURN!!!!!
M240H on June 4 1944 at 11:06 AM

The REAL patriotic Americans have joined the Wehrmacht, I can’t wait to warm up my MG -42 on those RINOs climbing out of the Higgins boats.
Astonerii on June 5 1944 at 11:45 pm

Sig Heil!
Hondav65 on June 6 1944 at 6:02 AM

V7_Sport on July 24, 2014 at 8:43 PM

For the record, if approving of my Rep “working well with others” means voting for the likes of John McCain, I’ll pass thank you!

Pelosi Schmelosi on July 24, 2014 at 8:46 PM

One small problem – if you believe that MiniCave McConnell will block even ONE of Teh SCOAMT’s picks to be a Lawgiver-In-Black, I have a bridge to sell you.

Steve Eggleston on July 24, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Heh.

NWConservative on July 24, 2014 at 9:08 PM

In Democratic districts, more than half of Democratic voters approve of the incumbent.

I am thinking about this one, very often on the dem side they don’t expect to have a choice, and they do buy the idea of Power of seniority and the more powerful, the better advantage to bring home the bacon, which is grants and perks and funding for things dems like. They don’t have to “like” their boring old incumbent for this.

But as an outsider looking in, some blue districts NEVER have a primary challenger. What this does is stagnates the pool of candidates that know how to run for office, and in the case of MA, has rendered Congress to be people who had been there for 30 or MORE years. No one else ever gets a chance to run, and females have never had a chance to move on up. They become Permanent positions. Republicans do run candidates, but the result is usually 65% – 35%. And the media usually runs that candidate down for the incumbent so they don’t have to use their HUGE war chests. The media never asks a hard question to a powerful democrat incumbent, and the democrat incumbent declines debates and especially free flowing interviews on talk radio.

Fleuries on July 24, 2014 at 10:54 PM

I’m hoping for change nonetheless. How do you say quack quack?

COgirl on July 25, 2014 at 12:10 AM

Rationally, both parties should be trending downward from 2010 to 2014 for the si mple reason that it doesn’t much matter who controls the Senate in 2015 and 2016

What about the Supreme Court??!

one free individual on July 25, 2014 at 7:07 AM