Historic 11-point 'enthusiasm gap' favors GOP
The November election is shaping up to be another GOP blowout. That's the conclusion from a new survey conducted for the Ripon Society that shows an astonishing 11-point gap in "intensity" favoring Republicans.
"We had in 2010 a nine-point advantage on intensity. Going into 2014 we had a seven-point advantage on intensity, meaning our voters are more intense about voting. Right now we have an 11-point advantage," he said. "I've never seen a double-digit advantage in terms of intensity to vote."
In 2010, Republicans took control of the House. In 2014, they took over the Senate.
"Why is it 11? It's intensity toward the president," he explained.
A deeper plunge into the numbers, Goeas said, is even more remarkable
For example, Republican women, who typically don't express voting eagerness in levels as high as men, are equal for the first time, at 89 percent, he said. What's more, on the issue of intensity, they are just three points back.
"Not only is there no gender gap, there's no intensity gap with Republicans wanting to vote Republican this year, all driven by the president," the strategist said.
His poll found that the economy is a huge driver in the election, as is the concern by voters that they are getting further away from achieving the American Dream. For example, 53 percent said "time is running out" for the country to get back on track.
And that might help Republicans reach African-Americans and Hispanics.
It's apparently already happening among black and Latino middle-class voters, his poll revealed. Among African-Americans, for example, he found that 22 percent were voting Republican or undecided. Among Hispanics, 45 percent are already backing the GOP or are undecided.
"In the current economic and political environment, there are a significant number of middle-class voters whose first test of a policy will be its economic impact on them. This mindset provides a valuable opportunity for Republicans to increase their support among minorities," Goeas said.
Those are incredible numbers – and will probably drop back quite a bit before election day. But even if that support among minorities is cut in half, it represents a huge increase in support for Republicans that will doom whichever Democrat emerges as the nominee.
Intensity in February does not necessarily mean the enthusiasm will be maintained through November. But it's much better to have that advantage than trying to overcome it, as the Democrats must now do.