Politics

Surge in Republican Voter Enthusiasm — Even Before Latest Kavanaugh Hearing

A new Gallup poll shows Republicans’ enthusiasm five weeks before the mid-term elections is rising fast, putting them neck and neck with Democrats, who held a big margin just weeks ago.

“Sixty-one percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners and 58% of Republicans and Republican leaners say they are more enthusiastic about voting in November compared to prior elections. These levels roughly match Republicans’ record-high enthusiasm in 2010, Barack Obama’s first midterm, when the GOP won a whopping 63 seats. But this is the first time in Gallup’s trend since 1994 that both parties have expressed high enthusiasm,” Gallup reported.

Most fascinating in the poll is the comparison to 2010. In the first mid-terms since Obama was elected — and the first after the passage of Obamacare without a single GOP vote — Democrats got shellacked, losing 63 seats in the House of Representatives, the largest seat change since 1948 and the largest for any midterm election since the 1938 mid-term elections. Republicans also picked up six seats in the Senate.

The rout was even worse across the country: the GOP gained 680 seats in state legislative races, breaking the previous record of 628 set by Democrats in 1974 after the Watergate scandal.

And that was before the partisan hearings of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh this past Thursday but after his three-day hearing. The poll was conducted Sept. 17-23.

Gallup also showed that enthusiasm is running high among all adults.

” Americans’ enthusiasm for voting in November is significantly higher than it was in the prior six midterm election years. Fifty-five percent of U.S. adults say they are ‘more enthusiastic’ about voting than usual, which contrasts with between 37% and 50% saying the same in Gallup’s final pre-election surveys each midterm year from 1994 through 2014. Currently, 33% say they are ‘less enthusiastic.’ ” Gallup reported.

Gallup’s poll followed one by NBC and the Wall Street Journal last week. The Journal said, “The poll, while outlining challenges for the GOP, included some good news for Republicans. The party is closing an enthusiasm gap, with 61 percent of Republican voters now expressing high interest in the election, nearly matching the 65 percent of Democrats. In polls taken over the first eight months of the year, Democrats had held an aggregate 12-point advantage in the share of supporters showing high interest in the election.”


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