A new Gallup poll out today shows Democrats are less enthusiastic about voting in the upcoming election than they have been in a decade.
According to Gallup, 45 percent of Democrats and independents who lean Democratic say they are more enthusiastic about voting than usual, while nearly as many, 44 percent, are less enthusiastic.
Meanwhile, “nearly 6 in 10 Republicans, 58 percent, describe themselves as more enthusiastic about voting. That is nearly identical to Republicans’ average level of enthusiasm in 2004 (59 percent) and higher than it was at most points in 2008.”
This “enthusiasm gap” has been evident for some time now. It was as a major factor in the Democrats’ loss in the special election to replace Rep. Anthony Weiner in New York City. These numbers may explain why President Obama has been spending more time courting/shoring/imploring his base.
The last time voting enthusiasm among Democrats was this low was in 2000. But, Democrats were also not as unenthusiastic about voting as they are today. Back in 2000, 47 percent of Democrats said they were enthusiastic about voting, but only 33 percent were “less enthusiastic.”
There’s plenty of time for Democrats to rev up their base before 2012. You can also expect the enthusiasm for Democrats to increase once Republicans pick their nominee. Democrats may not be excited about voting FOR the President today, but they may be enthusiastic to vote AGAINST the GOP nominee next fall.