Democratic Enthusiasm For The Midterms Is Fine

When a new Gallup poll about voter enthusiasm was released, many news organizations, which are clearly staffed by mathematically illiterate headline writers decided to go with “Republicans close the enthusiasm gap” type of headlines. This kind of peawit analysis is yet another reason why we can’t have nice things.

Here are the actual poll results in historical context:


Yes, Republican enthusiasm is very high–they have a white supremacist, pro-caste system leader and many Republican like that. A lot. But Democratic enthusiasm is unprecedented. If that translates into votes (and millenials, while you get far too much grief over just about everything, you really are failing here*), then Democrats will be getting massive turnout relative to other off-year elections–especially the historically disastrous 2010 and 2014 midterms.

So, yes, Republicans have closed the gap. But that doesn’t mean much: Republicans always have higher turnout in the midterms**. The potential–note that word–for massive Democratic turnout is the story here, not the ‘gap’. That said, I still stand by my prediction of a five to ten seat House majority, and loss of two Senate seats.

*As is the case, Gen Xers will be doing the heavy lifting and not getting the credit. While we’re on this topic, l’affair Kavanaugh is one of the first times a Gen X-focused phenomenon is affecting the political system.

**This is yet another reason why professional Democrats suck at their jobs: they have been unable to mobilize Democrats for a routine election (we’re not talking about a bizarre off-cycle special election).

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