Poll: Democratic Enthusiasm Surges as Election Day Approaches

A new Newsweek poll released today provided more evidence that Democrats are not going lie down and let Republicans take control of Congress without a fight. The much discussed enthusiasm gap has been virtually closed. In fact, both registered and likely voters expressed a preference that Democrats keep control of Congress.

There are signs of increasing Democratic enthusiasm all through the Newsweek poll. The poll asked Republicans, Democrats, and Independents how much attention they are paying to the election. Republicans still lead Democrats, and Independents 69%-62%-59%. When the margin of error is factored in the seven point lead for Republicans shrinks to 2-3 points. An even bigger red flag for Republicans is that respondents stressed a small preference for the Democrats to retain control of Congress, 48%-43%. Among those who voted early, Democrats had a ten point lead 52%-42%.

The Republican frame that this election is referendum on Obama was largely rejected by the results of this poll, which found that to a majority of respondents, Obama is a non factor, (36%), and those who do see Obama as a factor are split. 31% see the vote as a vote for Obama, and 30% view it as a vote against Obama. When asked what their most important issue was, 62% answered the economy. 22% responded with healthcare, 7% the war in Afghanistan, and only 6% cited immigration as their top issue.

Another sign of Democratic revival is the increased approval rating of the President. Obama approval rating has climbed back up to 54%, which is its highest level since February. Equally significant is that his disapproval rating has fallen to 40%. As far as congressional approval ratings are concerned, neither party is popular, but generic Democratic members of Congress enjoy a 10 point approval advantage over their Republican colleagues, 41%-31%.

It would be misreading this data to assume that the Democrats have suddenly become more popular. Instead, a more likely explanation is that the Democratic base is finally engaged and paying attention. They have awakened from their 2008 Obama victory hangover, and are understanding the importance of 2010. It is no coincidence that their great awakening occurred after President Obama went back out on the campaign trail. No one else in the party inspires and rallies Democrats like Obama.

The other side of the coin is Republican support is still limited to 30%-35% of the electorate. By moving more to the right, Republicans have put a ceiling on the level of their support. They have not been able to capture Independents, and have continued to alienate moderate conservatives. This has left Democrats with plenty of potential supporters to woo. The shift in Democratic momentum has been visible for weeks in polls of individual races. If Democrats are now more engaged, and if these engaged supporters show up at the polls, Democratic candidates all around the country have a chance.

I still believe that the generic enthusiasm measurement is not in itself an accurate or reliable barometer for the upcoming election. More importantly for Democrats, if Obama’s popularity is on the rebound and they remain in control the Senate, even with control of the House, Republicans will be in for a very difficult next two years, but before Republicans can turn an eye towards 2012, they must first avoid what is looking like a possible collapse in 2010. Republicans could have captured the Congress, but they appear to be running on fumes. All that remains to be seen is if Democrats have enough time to catch them before they reach the finish line is reached on November 2.

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28 Replies to “Poll: Democratic Enthusiasm Surges as Election Day Approaches”

  1. “only 6% cited immigration ” and DOWN go the fear-mongering brown people tactics. I don’t see fear of Islam on the poll, but healthcare is not high on the list either, so running against Obamacare is probably not the smartest plan. I guess all of the screaming and yelling didn’t work.

    God help us all if these folks get back into the majority and shut down government again. While Rome burns, they’re busy pointing fingers and playing hide the gold with their other selves secret life partner.

  2. I don’t see fear of Islam on the poll, but healthcare is not high on the list either, so running against Obamacare is probably not the smartest plan.

    No, because there are probably more people that wish it went further. Having health insurance based on your job isn’t all that popular.

  3. GOP/Tea 2010 has chosen a Big Hate, Big Fear appeal with zero new ideas.

    That energizes Progressives that Media Inc. has tried to claim for months, are apathetic. And it hands an easy case to Democratic candidates about returning wholesale to the failed Bush agenda of cut taxes / cut government / prosperity Trickles Down.

    Uhm, no it didn’t. Duh.

    Bigger question: why had Media Inc. not understood sooner, the pratfalls of the GOP strategy? You’re going to win by alienating all minorities and half of caucasians?

    No You Can’t…

    – Balkingpoints / www

  4. If I remember, 54% of the people polled in one poll said they would vote only for people who voted for healthcare.

    The people of the US want healthcare. They want to be civilized. My newly nickel minded Senator Alexander recently sent out a newsletter stating that the overwhelming numbers of the US wanted healthcare gone. He is another one running pell mell trying to look like Tea party groupie

    The republicans will take seats this is clear. Its mandatory we dont let them control anything and start adding to the deficit and allowing corporations to rape us unobstructed.

  5. AP has been running pro-GOP apologist stories all week, declaring the election won for them in a landslide.

    They had a headline claiming the exact opposite of the Newsweek poll / said, “Likely Voters ready to Embrace GOP”. Another one claimed the Dem base was “crumbling”.


    AP = Rasmussen = Fox

  6. Newsweek?


    Any moron with a high IQ can see that Newsweek is a liberal rag.

    Use nonpartisan polls like Rasmussen for Fox if you want credibility and truth.

  7. Since when is Rasmussen a nonpartisan poll? Where do you get this stuff? Fox? Oh yeah, they’re not biased. They’re the fair and balanced news channel. Ha

    Liberals already know that Newsweek is going to lean in our favor. We admit it. We take that into account when we look at their numbers.

    When will you do the same?

  8. Those polls mean absolutely nothing. I mean most of us democrats don’t speak our minds like the haters do – we’re quiet and reserved, we poise for the attack when nobody is watching :)

    I work in computer programming but I deal with a lot of our marketers and customer service with having to write applications for their various needs and I can tell you from personal experience. For every 1 person who complains, there is approximately 100 who don’t and the people who complain the most or the specifically the ones that complain the loudest, often are the super minority of your customer base. So companies or organizations who cater to the people who simply yell the loudest, fail in their business 90% of the time – message board complaints are a poor source of feed back. It’s the organizations catering to the ones who don’t speak, the ones who don’t complain that most often are successful and I believe that is the primary key to their success. So get fired up, get your friends fired up but do it quietly and offline, if they call and ask of your opinion, lie and tell them the opposite, I don’t want the road blocking wrecker crew that I affectionately refer to as the RepubliCan’t party, to get their homophobic, race hating, religion forcing zealots to even have a clue about the storm we’re bringing..

  9. Fox only shows you the altered reality they wish for you to see. Sure they might show you a good poll here and there and as far as I can tell rasmussenreports.com is a good source of information (not exactly an expert on them though – just what I can find on the inter-tube at the moment) – but you’re not going to get the full story on F(au)X News, they are owned by News Corporation Inc. (aka: http://www.news.com.au ) and News Corporation Inc is owned by the super conservative Australian government (majority stock holder) – So stop watching the foreign state run TV and get back to some real coverage, hell watch CNN, they are conservative leaning IMHO, just not pro-americans-hating-americans or anti-american like F(AU)X is.

    How are they anti-american I hear you thinking? Why its simple, they feed you the bullshit to make you angry at other Americans, Simply put they are pitting Americans against Americans. Why thats anti-American, de-American or even un-American (whatver you want to call it) at its most basic definitions, anything that breaks apart or weakens our Union is to Un-Do what IS our Union and what IS, happens to be our country, America! visa-vive: UN-American!

  10. I’m glad to see that the enthusiasm among Democrats has grown, but I didn’t need to be “enthusiastic” to understand what’s in my best interests. I’m quite sure that I speak for others as well. IMHO, there has never in my lifetime been a mid-term election season that was as crucial as this one is. With all the crackpots on the right running for Congress, it would be suicidal for anyone not to vote who doesn’t want to be subjected to their destructive ideology.

    I can’t think of a better time to stick it to the corporate “masters” and the ignoramus puppets whose strings they are pulling from behind the scenes. This election is about either moving forward into the 21st century or about staying mired in the past, with continuous cultural wars that distract from the important issues while people like the Koch brothers rule by division. And that would benefit none of us. To a certain extent, it looks like the Party of No may have overplayed its collective hand, but there is no reason for complacency either before or after November 2. If these loons win, the misery index will increase greatly and this country’s image abroad will suffer even more than it did under GW. Much too much is at stake to sit this one out, regardless of any dissatisfaction with the president.

  11. Evidently, Democrats are finally getting enthusiastic about and engaged in the election. That isn’t all surprising to me.

    Republicans have received tons of money from corporations and foreign donors and have poured that into advertising for the past few months, which has energized their base for some time. Hence, the Republican lead in the polls during August and September.

    Democrats, on the other hand, haven’t received nearly as much money and have waited to spend their advertising dollars until the last minute. They are now spending. And so, that advertising is now energizing their base. Hence, the rise in Democratic support now in October.

    It will be interesting to see if the disproportionate Republican spending has any effect on election day. I’m guessing it won’t.

  12. Sometimes close polls are used to justify election fraud, so it’s best to tell the truth when they call you but I totally agree with all of your other points.

  13. The Republicans peaked too early and the citizenry finally got tired of their over the top rhetoric and the Tea Party, I’m just a laid back Democrat and my vote counts as ! just like theirs do. Reggie Jackson wouldn’t be known as Mr. October if he got all his hits and homers in May. It’s how you finish, not how you start. I’m voting early as is my wife and stepson, and 8 of my other relatives including 4 who were Republicans, all voting Democrat except for Charlie Crist for senate. Charlie is ok and the right threw him under the bus for working with Obama

  14. Last I heard, Rupert Murdoch has effective control of FOX. He is the chairman and his family owns the majority of voting shares. Although he was Australian, he is now a citizen of the USA. Also, the Australian Government has no stake in News Corp and while it is not a socialist state like parts of Europe, it is not an super conservative government as you claim.

  15. Well, a Saudi Prince is a majority share holder of Fox – and Murdoch is trying to buy up papers and networks in UK too – not just here- he is definitely serving conservative and racist agenda in UK. Anyone watching Fox is getting news paid for by Saudis but of course they don’t care then. They wait for Fox to tell them it’s a problem.

  16. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when people vote, Republicans lose. Their hope is to stifle the turnout, and the MSM has mainly gobbled up their narrative until just recently. The Republican Teanut Corporation is in for a shock in November, our October surprise is in full swing.

  17. Keep these morons out of office, dear god, please! All they want to do is impeach the President and play little boy games with their hurt feelings. The country keeps rejecting them and they’re wiwwy said.

  18. It is far too early to read the results. The electorate is deeply divided and, I might add, confused about the best future direction for our country. I think Democrats will rally because, in their view, like Republican supporters, there are no alternatives. The real issue is whether, once elected, Democrats will push their agenda in the next term or play it middle-of-the road again.

  19. Its the Saudi’s that are buying up the fox shares. Which is kind of funny, since its all the rage for the rednecks who watch fox to yell rag-head at middle easterners and now middle easterners are going to own the red-neck channel, so sweet how things work out in the end, sort of like god is on our side and not theres and they are the ones who want their gods prayer forced upon our children. Maybe their plan isn’t gods plan after all. *grin*

  20. Yeah, I was feeling belligerent at the time – you’re right not to agree with that. Sorry! lol.

    BTW, my cookie cleaner clears out my saved name, so when I’m feeling lazy I just don’t enter it again lol. That was my post. ;)

  21. :-/

    Best you can do is come here and throw dirt? pah-leeze… we got our dirt proof vests on here. :D

    Aren’t you missing a Fux news story or something, if you’re having trouble finding it, look under Fiction…

  22. It’s obvious that the Democrats are not going to win. All of them whining will not do anything but make the Republican victories sweeter. I for one, cannot wait until Obama and the libtards are out of office.

  23. You need to get your head out of the clouds WheresMyJammies. When a rag like Newsweek is giving poll results, it doesn’t matter which party they favor, the stats are still skewed.

    At least Fox isn’t biased and reports only the facts.

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