2010 Forecast: Enthusiasm Gap Still Favors GOP

Despite multiple attempts by President Obama to rouse his base, the latest ABC/Washington Post poll shows Republicans are still more “fired up and ready to go” than Democrats.

When asked if they were “certain” to vote this year, 77 percent of Republicans said yes compared to just 61 percent of Democrats. This 16-point advantage for Republicans is unchanged from last month. Independent voters, meanwhile, did show a jump in enthusiasm from September. Today, 74 percent say they are “certain” to vote – up from 69 percent last month. That’s not good news for Democrats however, as independents are leaning decidedly toward the GOP this fall. Among independents who are most likely to vote, 53 percent say they’re voting for the Republican candidate compared to just 33 percent who say they’ll vote for the Democrat.

And, what about the “youth vote” that Democrats were trying to re-inspire? Not so much. Just 53% of 18-29 year old voters say they are certain to vote compared to 80 percent of those 65 years and older and 81 percent among those 50-64 years old. Why does this matter to Democrats? Among younger voters, Obama’s approval rating is 58 percent; among the oldest group of voters it’s just 46 percent. More important, when asked who they’d support in 2010, younger voters give Democrats an advantage (albeit a narrow one) of 51-47 percent. Those 65 and older give Republicans a 51-44 percent advantage.

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