The Enthusiasm Gap, Overrated

Recent polls have shown the GOP to have a significant edge in enthusiasm regarding the upcoming mid-term elections. Nearly without exception, Republicans are more excited, enthusiastic and energized about voting in the November election than their Democratic counterparts.

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The straight-forward conclusion is that this enthusiasm gap will play out at the voting booths in November, resulting in widespread GOP gains, led by a takeover of the U.S. Senate.

But, what if the enthusiasm gap is meaningless?

Two years ago, the same polls that now show the GOP with a marginal advantage on this measure, showed much of the same thing – that GOP voters were significantly more excited about voting in the November Presidential election.

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And, what happened?

The enthusiasm gap was taken to the woodshed by the Obama team’s GOTV efforts. In a nutshell, the Democrats turned out voters who were “unenthusiastic,” “unexcited” and not “energized” to vote, rendering the “enthusiasm gap” meaningless.

There’s a significant lesson here for GOP candidates this Fall. Don’t assume that GOP voter “enthusiasm” will carry your campaigns to victory.

A campaign’s “ground-game” is more important than ever, and in order to win key races this Fall, we’re going to need more than just those GOP enthusiastic voters to go to the polls.