Republicans Enjoy Enthusiasm Gap
QUESTION: In the 2010 Congressional elections will you definitely vote, probably vote, not likely vote, or definitely will not vote?
Voter Intensity: Definitely + Probably Voting/Not Likely + Not Voting
Republican Voters: 81/14
Independent Voters: 65/23
DEMOCRATIC VOTERS: 56/40
Like Josh Marshall, this doesn’t surprise me at all.
Everyone knows there’s an enthusiasm gap. You don’t even need a poll to tell you. You can feel it. On the one hand you’ve got very gunned up conservatives, who make up an even greater proportion of the diminished GOP. On the other you’ve got a mix of demoralized progressives and other Dems who feel like they got the job done in November 2008 and have checked out on politics … at least for now.
Actually, I think it’s even more basic than that. Out parties are almost always hungrier than the party in power. Hope! and Change! are much more exciting than Stay the Course!
Moreover, the in-party has to govern, which means that some sizable number of their nominal supporters are disgusted with them over one or more issue areas. Republicans hate Obama’s health care plan. So do many Democrats! Republicans think Obama’s screwing up in Afghanistan. So do many Democrats! Republicans are unhappy with Obama’s policies on torture, terrorism, and gay rights. So are many Democrats!