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The Enthusiasm Gap is back

by TonyAngelo on April 5, 2012 · 5 comments

It’s back! The dreaded juggernaut that toppled Democratic legislative majorities all over the country in 2010, the Enthusiasm Gap, has again reared it’s head, huffing and snorting for more politicians blood.

Only this time, the Enthusiasm Gap appears to have switched sides and will now be trampling over GOPers.

PPP (3/26):

“Are you very excited, somewhat excited, or not at all excited about voting in the 2012 elections?”

Very excited 57
Somewhat excited 28
Not at all excited 15

Very excited 46
Somewhat excited 30
Not at all excited 24
(MoE: ±3.1%)

57% very excited Democrats and 46% very excited Republicans is a gap of 11 points. On March 28th 2011, almost exactly one year before this poll was taken, the Democrats numbers were about the same, 55% very excited. The big difference is that last year 56% of Republicans were very excited as well.

This graph helps to illustrate my point:

Image Hosted by

The blue line is Democrats who are very excited and the red line is Republicans who are very excited. The black lines running through them are linear trend lines, which highlight the erosion of Republican enthusiasm since the start of the GOP nominating process.

Past performance, as they say, is no guarantee of future results. Its too early for us to conclude that this dynamic will persist until November, but the Enthusiasm Gap is in our favor right now and has been steadily moving that way for months now, so we can have some confidence in the trends.

To be sure, this weekend you should offer up a sacrifice of Grilled Foodstuffs and Fermented Beverages to the almighty Enthusiasm Gap so that it may see our gratitude and remain on our side for the coming battle. If you have any recommendations for Foodstuffs and Beverages that may please the Enthusiasm Gap please leave them in the comments so that we may prepare a pleasing offering to our new ally.

dan.burns April 5, 2012 at 6:58 pm

and the mass-produced watery fizz that too many Americans still think of as “beer,” is about the best that I can do.

Last time around, corporate media continually resounded with “Republican wave” oratory, beginning about the day after Naked Scotty Brown’s election. Needless to say, we won’t be seeing much, if any, of that on Democrats’ behalf, regardless of the indicators.  So, when it’s over, we may be able to glean some insight, on how much real influence c. media still has.

ericf April 5, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Though someone else takes the first bite.

ericf April 5, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Of course, the big unknown we know we’ll probably encounter is the effect of the Supreme Court throwing out the ACA, which is what I’m expecting (and if I’m right, I reserve the right to refer to the conservative majority as “partisan hacks”). I really don’t know who that’s going to motivate. Republicans will celebrate as short of overturning Roe, this sort of decision is what they’ve been striving for in decades of politicizing the courts. Some Democrats will mourn, and certainly the people having their insurance yanked away will have good cause, but some may be encouraged that single-payer is inevitable albeit a long way off, and maybe all will be motivated to hit back at the court. Or maybe they’ll be discouraged, thinking that the system is rigged an elections mean nothing. I couldn’t blame them, seeing the court throw out the chance of universal health insurance coverage and the president’s signature accomplishment so soon after throwing out campaign finance laws, and that just a few years after stopping vote counting to hand the presidency to the conservative majority’s preferred candidate.

dan.burns April 5, 2012 at 9:03 pm

the decision will be a muddle;  the mandate, guaranteed issue, and some other items will be tossed, and others retained.  And I have no idea how that could affect the election, either, though I suspect not much.

Much could depend on Obama’s reaction, whether he wusses out or goes hard after SCOTUS, beginning with a DOJ investigation into Corrupt Clarence.  I figure the former;  he figures he’ll be reelected and can replace Kennedy with somebody rational.  Apparently despite a good chance of a GOP Senate majority.

ericf April 6, 2012 at 2:02 am

Maybe I’m feeling the burn from Citizens United, but the part still smoldering is that the court went beyond when the plaintiffs asked for, and threw out more laws than they needed to to give the decision to Citizens United. They’ve over reached so repeatedly, that I can’t see them tossing just part of the law when they can overturn the whole thing. The questions indicated they were reading from Republican talking points, even inaccurate ones (the “cornhusker kickback” didn’t make it into the final bill)

Not just Kennedy, but I’m guessing Ginsburg won’t see through another presidential term, so the next president can reverse the 5-4 majority, or make it a 6-3 conservative majority, with all six being ideologues. I’m hoping that point will sink in to every unenthused Democrat thinking of sitting out the election or casting a protest vote.

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