The bounce is over in the Gallup and Rasmussen tracking polls, even though they don't yet register the fallout from Romney's "fuck-you, 47 percenters" speech. It shows a tightening of the race again. But on one measure, it shows a big shift:
The "enthusiasm gap" that favored Republicans by 11 points a year ago suddenly has moved to a 9-point advantage for Democrats — a crucial asset when it comes to turning out supporters to the polls. The percentage of Democrats who say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting has surged from 53% last month to 73% now. Republican enthusiasm has risen but by not nearly as much, to 64% from 55%.
Those gains in enthusiasm might reflect the effectiveness of the conventions in boosting base supporters: 16% of Democrats but just 6% of Republicans said the political conventions had "a great deal" of impact on their vote.
Now we'll see, in a tight election, just how productive Obama's deep investment in his ground game will be.