September 30, 2004
THE CW'S ROAD TO GOLGOTHA:
The Enthusiasm Gap: Also: The (Other) Great Divides; Poll Vault: A Hurricane Preparedness Tip (Richard Morin and Christopher Muste, September 30, 2004, Washington Post)
Forget the gender gap. The chasm that yawns the widest this election year is the Enthusiasm Gap.
Nearly two in three likely voters who support President Bush -- 65 percent -- said they were "very enthusiastic" about their candidate while 42 percent of Sen. John F. Kerry's supporters express similarly high levels of enthusiasm for their choice, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News Poll.
That's a 23-point difference in relative excitement. Although the polling record is incomplete for earlier elections, the available data suggest that the enthusiasm gap in the 2000 presidential campaign was negligible, at best.
In an election in which turnout is key, keeping the faithful energized is one of the most critical challenges facing Kerry as he approaches the first presidential debate tonight. Not only must he convince the small number of persuadable voters who currently support Bush to switch their vote, but he also must re-energize his own supporters to ensure that they turn out on Election Day.
While the enthusiasm gap is apparent across most key voting blocks, nowhere is it more striking than in the way that political conservatives, moderates and liberals view their respective choices.
Bush's conservative base is broadly enthusiastic about the president while political liberals are noticeably cooler to Kerry.
And so, after years of stories about Bush's base problems, we get the: "nevermind." Posted by Orrin Judd at September 30, 2004 8:44 AM