Via Steve Benen, some pretty interesting news that probably will not shock you. So we're not the only ones feeling less than enthusiastic about Democratic performance, huh:
The latest Research 2000 poll for Daily Kos included the usual question on the generic congressional ballot, with Dems still enjoying a modest edge over Republicans, 37% to 32%, with 31% unsure. Democratic numbers were strongest in the Northeast (53% Dems, 7% GOP), and Republican numbers were strongest in the South (51% GOP, 21% Dems).
But this poll added a new question to the mix to measure voter enthusiasm: "In the 2010 Congressional elections will you definitely vote, probably vote, not likely vote, or definitely will not vote?" The overall results aren't nearly as interesting as the partisan breakdown.
Among self-identified Republican voters, 81% are either "definitely" voting next year or "probably" voting, while 14% are "not likely" to vote or will "definitely" not vote.
Among self-identified Independent voters, 65% are either "definitely" voting next year or "probably" voting, while 23% are "not likely" to vote or will "definitely" not vote.
And among self-identified Democratic voters, 56% are either "definitely" voting next year or "probably" voting, while 40% are "not likely" to vote or will "definitely" not vote.
Markos, who called the results "shocking," explained:
Two in five Democratic voters either consider themselves unlikely to vote at this point in time, or have already made the firm decision to remove themselves from the 2010 electorate pool. Indeed, Democrats were three times more likely to say that they will "definitely not vote" in 2010 than are Republicans.
This enormous enthusiasm gap ... seems to make passing legitimate health care reform an absolute political necessity for Democrats. This polling data certainly should be something for Congressional leadership to consider, as they move along the legislative path.
The notion of an enthusiasm gap this year is not exactly new, but we haven't seen numbers quite this stark until now.