Amongst all the poll numbers thrown about, something you do not hear much about is the enthusiasm and/or anger potential voters have about their positions. This enthusiasm/anger is important because it affects the likelihood of them actually going out and voting their positions instead of just yakking. And, as any politico will tell you, voter turnout is always key, especially in off-year elections.
I have suspected that this enthusiasm/anger factor favors the Republicans for off-year 2010 congressional elections. For one thing, the tea party movement would not have the success it has had without a great undercurrent of both anger and enthusiasm out there. And I think the 2009 Virginia and New Jersey elections were affected by that anger/enthusiasm.
Now some other numbers are confirming my suspicions. From a Pew poll:
[V]oters who plan to support Republicans next year are more enthusiastic than those who plan to vote for a Democrat. Fully 58% of those who plan to vote for a Republican next year say they are very enthusiastic about voting, compared with 42% of those who plan to vote for a Democrat. More than half (56%) of independent voters who support a Republican in their district are very enthusiastic about voting; by contrast, just 32% of independents who plan to vote for a Democrat express high levels of enthusiasm.
Those numbers are *interesting* and do not look good for Democrats. However, Obama and friends are pushing the most offensive aspects of their Socialist agenda now and will surely soft pedal that by late summer as the election nears. (Won’t they?) So anger may wane some. And no one really knows what the economy will be like. That, as always, is a huge factor that will influence voter attitudes.
Nevertheless, the enthusiasm/anger factor, which is now favoring conservatives, is one to watch.