Republican Enthusiasm for 2012 Vote Drops in Gallup Poll

The enthusiasm gap between Republican and Democratic voters for the 2012 presidential election has narrowed sharply, according to a new Gallup survey.

Forty-nine percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters said they were more enthusiastic about voting next year compared with  previous elections - down from 58 percent in September.

Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters, 44 percent said  the same -  a number that has held steady from earlier this year - while 47 percent of Democrats said they were less enthusiastic about the coming presidential vote.

The findings mean Republicans may not enjoy as significant an advantage over Democrats as had been previously assumed when it comes to their supporters' enthusiasm for getting to the polls.

"Gallup has found that voting enthusiasm generally relates to the eventual election outcome in midterm and presidential election years," wrote Gallup's Frank Newport in a blog post.

"In election years in which one party has a clear advantage on enthusiasm, that party tends to fare better in the midterm elections or win the presidential election," he said.

But Newport said that it was too early to tell how strong the enthusiasm among each party's base would be come November 2012.