Voter Enthusiasm Down Across the Board, But Especially Bad Among Democrats
This midterm election is not particularly exciting for many according to the latest Gallup poll. Voter enthusiasm is the lowest it has been in 20 years. From Gallup:
Among Republican-leaning voters 42 percent are more enthusiastic about voting than normal, while 50 percent are less enthusiastic. While objective, it is dramatically better than enthusiasm among Democratic-leaning voters, which is what really matters in two-party elections. Only 32 percent of Democratic leaning voters are more enthusiastic while 55 percent are less.
The fact that voter enthusiasm is low shouldn’t be surprising given that 2014 is shaping up to be the least significant election of the century. 2004, 2008, and 2012 were all presidential year elections which people inherently see as important. The 2002 election was in the wake of 9/11. In 2006 Democrats had a real chance of taking back Congress and putting an end to complete Republican control in Washington. Similarly, in 2010 Republicans were able to put a stop to complete Democratic control by taking back the House.
By comparison in this election the most significant possible change would be Republicans winning a narrow majority in the Senate, but that would have only relatively modest policy implications. Republicans are set to hold the House so it was already guaranteed that we would have divided government.