A few weeks ago in a posting, I noted that the enthusiasm gap across 26 districts was worth an average of just over five points for Republicans.  I also predicted that the gap would experience natural tightening, ending up in the two-to-four point range. 

Well, based on an average across 28 Democratic-held districts this week, I was wrong.  The enthusiasm gap has actually widened one point to a six percent boost.  Thus, if a Republican challenger is trailing by three points on the overall ballot, they are getting approximately a six point boost among high interest voters and are leading by three (a net six point change).   (High interest voters are those who rate their interest as an 8, 9, or 10 on a scale of 1-10.)

Keep in mind the six points is an average across 28 district.  The low was +2 (in three districts) and the high was +12 (in one district).  I’m skeptical that there will be a double digit advantage.  The enthusiasm  gap was eight points in Virginia last year. . .given that it was a 2009 election, it is unlikely that a gap would be larger than that.

I still believe that the gap is more likely to narrow than to stay this wide, but it is evidence across a broad range of districts that Republican excitement continues to far outstrip Democrat interest.  GOP voters are fired up, ready to go (hey, that’s catchy!).

Public Opinion Strategies