Polls gauging candidate preference are nice and all.
But they don’t mean a thing if people don’t vote.
And the latest Gallup poll gauging voter enthusiasm indicates Republicans have an enormous advantage.
An average of 59% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents have said they are more enthusiastic than usual about voting this year compared with past elections, the highest average Gallup has found in a midterm election year for either party since the question was first asked in 1994.
Republicans’ net score of +14 more enthusiastic in the latest poll compared with the Democrats’ net score of -21 represents the largest relative party advantage Gallup has measured in a single midterm election-year poll.
The 28 percentage-point party difference in net scores on the “more enthusiastic than usual” question in 2010 is the highest Gallup has measured in a midterm election year, with 1994’s 17-point Republican advantage the only other midterm election-year gap coming close.
The enthusiasm question has generally provided an accurate indication of which party will fare better in the midterm elections. Since 1994, the party that has had a relative advantage on the enthusiasm measure has gained congressional seats in that midterm election year.
If these advantages hold, and that’s a big “if”, Republicans are looking at a dominant midterm election across the board.