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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gallup: Democratic Voting Enthusiasm Sharply Drops From 2008, Republican Enthusiasm Rises

By Susan Duclos

According to Gallup, in the summer of 2008 a majority of Democrats, 61 percent, said they were "more enthusiastic about voting than usual." That number has sharply dropped to 39 percent saying the same heading into the 2012 presidential election.

On the flip side, Republicans in 2008, showed only 35 percent who said they were "more enthusiastic about voting than usual," which has risen significantly to 51 percent this year.

The voting enthusiasm measure gives a sense of Americans' motivation to turn out and vote but probably also their expectations of their preferred party's chances of winning. Thus, the Republican advantage may indicate a greater likelihood of voting among Republicans but also greater optimism about a Republican victory than was the case in 2008. In turn, Democrats are probably less optimistic about their chances of winning than they were in 2008.

Gallup has found a relationship between voting enthusiasm and the outcome of midterm congressional elections, with the party that has the advantage generally faring better in the elections. That pattern also held in the 2008 presidential election, with Democrats reporting greater enthusiasm throughout the year and Barack Obama winning the election. The 2004 data provided less guidance as to the eventual winner, as the Republicans (68%) and Democrats (67%) had similar scores at the time of the election, which George W. Bush won narrowly.
 With a little over three months until the November presidential election, which in politics can seem like forever, many things can change with one wrong sentence on the campaign trail, but with voters in all polls by a variety of organizations finding the economy and jobs are the top issue that will influence their vote in 2012, barring an economic turnaround or a jump in employment, those soundbites will have a limited effect in the end.

This is one of the reasons that Conservatives are sounding the alarm on how Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer attempted to urge Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to artificially stimulate the economy with quantitative easing or similar measures before November to give the illusion of an economic upturn.

But the option creating the most dissension is "quantitative easing," or QE, in which the Fed has been acquiring long-term securities with newly created money. It has already been tried twice, once in 2009 and early 2010, when the Fed bought $1.25 trillion worth of mortgage-backed securities and $300 billion of Treasury securities and debt issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and a second time in 2010 and 2011, when the Fed bought $600 billion of Treasury securities. 

The 2012 presidential election is going to be won or lost on the economy and American voters do not need, nor want, a temporary illusion, they want solutions.

Recent polling has shown that despite Obama being more "likeable", Romney holds a significant advantage over Obama on managing the economy, reducing the federal budget deficit and creating jobs, and by more than 2-to-1, 63 percent to 29 percent, believe Romney's business background, including his time at Bain, would cause him to make good decisions, not bad ones, when dealing with the nation's economy.

Unemployment is at 8.2 percent and has been over 8 percent for 41 straight months. Manufacturing reports are down. The U.S. has lost it's AAA credit rating. The housing market is not expected to rebound for three more years, if that. Economic growth continues to disappoint expectations. Retail sales are down.

Onama's response? "We tried it our way.... and it worked!!"  If Obama truly believes that any of the news above, all happening under his watch, is considered "working" and success, no wonder Democrats are not enthusiastic.

These are some of the biggest reasons Conservatives are enthusiastic about the upcoming presidential election.