The 2016 enthusiasm gap

The latest CNN/ORC International poll laid out a stark “enthusiasm gap” between the two parties: Thirty-six percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they were “very enthusiastic” about voting for president next year, compared with just 19 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents.

Similarly, a recent survey by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg found Republicans, especially older white conservatives, were significantly more interested in the 2016 elections than Democrats and their key demographic groups. Seventy-one percent of likely GOP voters rated their interest in the elections as a “10” on a 1-to-10 scale, compared with 58 percent of Democratic voters who said the same.

It would seem Republicans are energized and poised to swamp the polls after eight years of President Barack Obama. But Democrats say there’s no cause for alarm.

“Sitting here in almost-January-2016, any diagnostic on enthusiasm or motivation is really useless,” said John Anzalone, one of the pollsters working for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.