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Enthusiasm gap?

The Democrats I know who are neither despondent nor in denial seem to be pinning their hopes on a historic, Democratic turnout at the polls -- the idea being that a wave of anti-Bush anger will gin up Kerry voters in record numbers.

Via Power Line, however, I note a story from today's Washington Post, suggesting that that's probably not going to happen.

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.

That's a 23-point difference in relative excitement. Although the polling record is incomplete for earlier elections, the available data suggest that the enthusiasm gap in the 2000 presidential campaign was negligible, at best.

I have to admit, these numbers surprised even me. I knew Kerry was boring and uninspiring, but I did think the virulence of anti-Bush rage would generate more enthusiasm than this. And what about all those news stories we've been reading for months, about how Bush's base was becoming disenchanted and ambivalent? Were those just wrong?

Most polls are still showing a two- or three-point race, but these numbers don't tell the whole story (see here). I've come to believe Kerry's campaign is in far worse shape than the head-to-head poll numbers suggest. Unless George W. Bush breaks down and cries during tonight's debate, it's difficult to see how Kerry can win with numbers like these.


I am not letting some poll tell me it is over. Whether you are right or wrong, we'll find out soon enough.

Whether you are right or wrong, we'll find out soon enough. In the meantime, I am not going to slump back into my easy chair and feel that sick pain in my gut as I contemplate another four years of George W. Bush. No, I have 30 days to fight for a potentially great President in John Kerry. I have only begun to canvass!

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