Voters are much less enthusiastic about going to the polls in November than they were in 2010 according to a new survey.
Gallup says just 35% of voters are “more enthusiastic” about voting this year compared to previous elections, while 53% are “less enthusiastic.” That 18-point gap is the largest Gallup has recorded since they started asking the question in 1994.
Those numbers could be bad news for Democrats. While there’s an 8-point “enthusiasm gap” among Republicans, there’s a massive 23-point gap among Democrats – with 55% saying they are “less enthusiastic” and just 32% who feel the opposite way.
The thought and enthusiasm measures together suggest a mixed picture for Republicans. On one hand, it seems clear that 2014 will not be a repeat of 2010, when record Republican enthusiasm presaged major gains for the party in Congress. This year, Republicans’ reported enthusiasm not only pales in comparison to 2010, but also to every other midterm election year.
However, Republicans still maintain advantages in thought given to the election and in voter enthusiasm compared with Democrats, and these advantages normally point to a better year for Republicans than Democrats. There is some uncertainty about how that will play out this year given that both Republicans and Democrats say they are less enthusiastic than usual about voting — something that has occasionally occurred in past midterm election years but never over the course of an entire midterm campaign.