The Republican Party holds a clear advantage in voter engagement in this fall’s midterm elections, according to a new national survey by the Pew Research Center. Yet GOP voters are not as enthused and engaged as they were at this point in the midterm campaign four years ago, prior to the Republican Party winning control of the House of Representatives, or as Democratic voters were in 2006, before Democrats gained control of Congress.
Allahpundit puts the numbers in perspective:
Democrats are down five points from four years ago; the GOP is down 10 points. That’s still good enough for an eight-point lead in enthusiasm, and the number of Republicans who say they’re absolutely certain to vote is statistically the same as it was in 2010, but if you’re looking for reasons to go full eeyore and doubt that the GOP can produce another wave, there you go. As pitiful as Democratic enthusiasm is right now (driven in part by an eight-point drop among Dems when asked if Obama is a factor in their vote this November), the gap between them and Republicans has actually shrunk since the last midterm.
Sabato isn’t betting on a wave election:
If there is political energy out there in the 2014 electorate to match either 2006 or 2010, it has escaped our attention. Obama and the congressional Democrats are undeniably unpopular, yet congressional Republicans have even lower ratings. Partisan redistricting has reduced the number of truly competitive House districts in a general election to an absolute minimum, also reducing interest and excitement. Also, this is the Senate class of seats that involves only about half of the nation’s voters, in contrast to the roughly three-quarters engaged in the seats to fill the other two Senate classes.