The “enthusiasm gap” became a political buzz term for the 2010 midterm elections; many political commentators felt that the tea party demonstrations had given much more enthusiasm to Republican voters over Democrat voters. A good indication of an “enthusiasm gap” is participation in party primaries. In 2008, many more Democrats voted in their presidential primary election (between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton) than Republicans in their presidential primary (won by John McCain, who went on to lose to Obama).
The term “enthusiasm gap” has been cited in print since at least 1968, but became popular in the 1992 and especially the 2008 presidential elections.
The future of conservatism:
From Taft to Reagan and beyond
By M Stanton Evans
New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston
These anonymous quotes are brought forward in substantiation of “the enthusiasm gap over Reagan.”
7 August 1968, Daily Inter Lake (Kalispell, MT), “Free Meals For Delegates Abound At Miami Beach” by Mary Pat Murphy, pg. 1, col. 6:
Km Dion, a Missoula girl who is working for Rockefeller, said she thinks Nixon has an “enthusiasm gap.” This seems to be the general consensus of the young people’s feelings. The Nixon people definitely have an enthusiasm gap for Rockefeller.
21 August 1976, Fairbanks (AK) Daily News-Miner, pg. A3, col. 4:
As the delegates disbanded on Friday, the enthusiasm gap was showing. In an Associated Press survey, more than 80 per cent of the delegates who supported Reagan said they would vote for the Ford-Dole ticket, but many of them said their personal efforts now will be concentrated on GOP candidates at home, not on the national ticket.
Google News Archive
28 April 1992, Fort Scott (KS) Tribune, “Now Clinton has to convince Democrats” by Walter Mears (AP), pg. 4, col. 3:
That should free Clinton to make the last phase of the primaries into the opening round of his campaign against Bush, but he’s also got to cope with a Democratic enthusiasm gap, and with the character questions that have dogged him all year.
Washington (DC) Post
The Enthusiasm Gap
By Richard Morin and Christopher Muste
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, September 30, 2004; 7:38 AM
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.
Seattle (WA) Post-Intelligencer
Last updated February 21, 2008 5:16 p.m. PT
Analyzing the enthusiasm gap
By CORNELL CLAYTON
A leading scholar of American elections, Alan Abramowitz, recently labeled what is now obvious to all—there is a huge “enthusiasm gap” in the presidential primaries.
The gap is both between the parties and within the Democratic Party. The difference in excitement between parties is evident in a recent Gallup Poll that found that 74 percent of Democrats were “more enthusiastic than usual” about voting compared with only 44 percent of Republicans. On Super Tuesday, the enthusiasm differential resulted in a participation gap, as 15 million voted in Democratic primaries compared with 9 million in Republican primaries. Democratic candidates have also out-raised Republicans.
Sept. 4, 2008 – 7:58 p.m.
GOP Hopes Palin Closes “Enthusiasm Gap”
By Catharine Richert, CQ Staff
So what’s Sarah Palin good for, politically?
On the day after her speech to the Republican convention electrified the hall, and received generally glowing reviews from commentators, party operatives said the Alaska governor could help the party win the White House this fall in three ways: Exciting the culturally conservative GOP base, pulling in support from independents and helping John McCain woo women voters.
OCLC WorldCat record
Republicans Still Face Enthusiasm Gap to Democrats
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : Gallup Organization, c2006-
Edition/Format: Article : English
Publication: The Gallup poll briefing. (September 2008): 7
Enthusiasm gap in Massachusetts
Jonathan Martin – Sat Jan 16 2010, 7:51 pm ET
HYANNIS, Mass. – As the two candidates running in the special Senate election here barnstormed across the state Saturday, the enthusiasm gap between the two parties was on vivid display.
The Enthusiasm Gap
Sunday, February 28, 2010
I had dinner the other night with a Democratic pollster who told me Dems are heading toward next fall’s mid-term elections with a serious enthusiasm gap: The Republican base is fired up. The Dem base is packing up.
Wednesday, Aug 4, 2010 17:30 ET
The enthusiasm gap and you
The right has learned to weather political storms. It’s time progressives do the same
By Robert Reich
Talking Points Memo (TPMDC)
The Enthusiasm Gap: How Dispassionate Dems And Fired-Up GOPers Are Defining 2010
Evan McMorris-Santoro | September 13, 2010, 8:34AM
Here are two words you’re going to hear a lot of in the next couple months: voter enthusiasm. Simply put, polls show Republican voters are super-extra-with-sugar-on-top excited to cast their protest votes against President Obama and his socialist cronies this November while Democrats are—to put it mildly—a lot less jazzed about casting a vote for the team currently in charge.
Washington (DC) Post
Explaining ‘the enthusiasm gap’
By Ezra Klein | September 14, 2010; 4:37 PM ET
Joshua Tucker wonders how parties that took power atop excited majorities in one year go on to lose power because their voters don’t turn out the next year:...
Posted: September 16, 2010 03:05 PM
Notes on the Enthusiasm Gap
I got to see the now-famous enthusiasm gap up close and personal last week, and it wasn’t a pretty sight.
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Sunday, September 19, 2010 • Permalink