Veteran pollster Mark Blumenthal argues that it’s misleading to assume that enthusiasm to vote automatically translates into the intent to vote. For example, when respondents of the Economist/YouGov survey were asked if they are “enthusiastic” about their candidate, “better than two-thirds of Trump supporters (68%) felt “enthusiastic” about him compared to 40 percent of Biden supporters who felt the same about him.” So, a win for Trump, right?
But, when you drop the word “enthusiasm” from the question and replace it with the word “important” (“how important is voting for President this November,”), the gap disappears. Just as many Biden voters (92 percent) as Trump supporters (91 percent) consider voting this year to be very important. Blumenthal also points to recent studies by CBS and the Democratic polling firm Global Strategy Group which found that a person’s stated enthusiasm wasn’t predictive of whether they showed up to vote.
It’s also true that younger voters, and especially younger voters of color, have long been cool to Biden’s candidacy. Putting a Black woman on the ticket doesn’t suddenly turn them into Biden stans. But, it does at least say to these voters that he understands the important role that Black voters and, specifically, Black women play in the party. Putting the first woman of color on a major party ticket would also help mute the very unhistoric candidacy of yet another older, white guy.