Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Gallup Poll Shows Narrowing Enthusiasm Gap Gallup Poll Shows Narrowing Enthusiasm Gap

This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Want access to this content? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation


Gallup Poll Shows Narrowing Enthusiasm Gap


Supporters against Senate Bill 5 celebrate after the bill was defeated Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio voters on Tuesday rejected a new law restricting the collective bargaining abilities of public employee unions in an unusually vigorous off-year election that drew attention across the nation. Voters also approved a constitutional amendment intended to keep government from requiring Ohioans to participate in any health care system.(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Republicans are less enthusiastic about voting for president in 2012, according to a new Gallup survey released early Thursday, suggesting that the turnout advantage they enjoyed in last year's midterm elections may be waning.

Forty-nine percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they are more enthusiastic than usual about voting, compared to 44 percent who say they are less enthusiastic. In a mid-September survey, 58 percent of Republicans were more enthusiastic, while just 30 percent said they were less enthusiastic.

While the gap may be narrowing, Democrats' enthusiasm has not increased accordingly: 44 percent say they are more enthusiastic (compared to 45 percent in September), while 47 percent say they are less enthusiastic.

Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport posits that the closing of the enthusiasm gap -- from 13 points to 5 -- "could reflect the intensive and bruising battle" for the GOP presidential nomination and "the rapid rise and fall of various candidates" therein. But if enthusiasm among Republicans continues to decrease, it could have effects beyond the presidential election, potentially threatening the GOP's ability to take control of the Senate and maintain or increase its majority in the House.

Other surveys have showed a wider gap between the parties, including Quinnipiac polls also released early Thursday that showed registered Republicans more enthusiastic than Democrats about voting in Florida (by a 24-point margin), Ohio (27-point margin) and Pennsylvania (20-point margin).

The Gallup poll was conducted Nov. 28-Dec., surveying 437 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, and 464 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. The margin of error for each sample is +/- 4.7 percent and +/- 4.5 percent, respectively.

Don't Miss Today's Top Stories


Rick, Executive Director for Policy

Concise coverage of everything I wish I had hours to read about."

Chuck, Graduate Student

The day's action in one quick read."

Stacy, Director of Communications

I find them informative and appreciate the daily news updates and enjoy the humor as well."

Richard, VP of Government Affairs

Chock full of usable information on today's issues. "

Michael, Executive Director

Sign up form for the newsletter