The “enthusiasm gap” between Democrats and Republicans for the 2022 midterm elections has closed, new polling finds, indicating that the race to control Congress is as tight as ever.
Enthusiasm, in election polling, measures the rate at which a group of people says they’re excited to vote in an upcoming race or races. Though not directly tied to turnout, the higher a political party’s enthusiasm, the more likely their supporters will appear at the polls to support their candidates on Election Day.
Polling has shown that Democrats and Republicans are neck-and-neck on the question posed to voters by various surveys over who they plan to support in their home district’s congressional race. More recently, Democrats have seen their numbers improve on that question — A recent Wall Street JournalPollAccording to, 47% would vote for a Democrat and 44% for a Republican. An aggregate of polling data collected by RealClearPoliticsIt also shows that Democrats have an average lead of 0.5 percent over Republicans as of Wednesday morning. This suggests that the two parties are statistically tied over who voters prefer to lead Congress next term.
The current polls defy conventional wisdom about midterm elections — usually in the first midterm race after a new president is inaugurated the president’s party fares poorlyLosing seats in the House of Representatives. So, Democrats would be expected to lose their narrow majority in the House, but polling data so far suggests that might not happen, or, if it does, it will not be the significant “red wave” Republicans have been predicting would occur.
The Republican Party is a lot more enthusiastic than the Democrats when it comes down to which voters will be most excited to vote in this fall’s election.
According to recent Politico/Morning Consult dataThis gap has narrowed and the two sides are now practically tied on this measure.
On the question of enthusiasm, 56 percent of voters who tend to support Democrats say they are “extremely” or “very” enthusiastic to vote this fall, while 57 percent of Republican voters say the same. The two measures are within the poll’s margin of error, which means the parties are technically tied on the question.
These new numbers are significant, as there have been large gaps between the parties over the last year. The gap of 1-point is smaller than the 9 points that existed in July when polls showed that 61% of Republican voters were excited to vote in November. This was compared to just 52 percent for Democratic voters. The gap between the two parties was even wider in April. Republicans had a 13 point lead over Democrats.
The PoliticoA /Morning Consult poll released this week also found that Democrats are maintaining their lead on the generic ballot question. 48% of voters plan to elect a Democrat to represent their district in Congress. 44% say they will choose the Republican candidate from their home district.
According to an analysis from Morning Consult on its poll, Democrats are seeing their enthusiasm numbers go up due to the Supreme Court’s decision to eradicate abortion protections — and states imposing new abortion restrictions or bans — as well as economic numbers plateauing following inflationary increases earlier this year.
“Democratic enthusiasm for voting in the midterm elections has generally been on the upswing since late spring, but surveys conducted throughout the year show that excitement on the left surged after the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade” wrote Morning Consult’s Eli Yokley.
“While the average voter is still more likely to hear negative news about the economy, positive perceptions about it have improved significantly in recent months amid solid jobs reports and, perhaps most notably, falling consumer gasoline costs,” Yokley added.