We have a pair of polls from The Hill that at first glance seem to contradict one another. Here’s the first one:
Democrats have a serious intensity problem heading into the final month of campaigning, according to a new poll of a dozen key House races.
The Hill/ANGA 2010 Midterm Election Poll confirms a strong trend this election season of Democrats being less enthusiastic about voting than are Republicans and dissatisfied independents.
The final numbers are: GOPers, 83% “very passionate” about voting, Dems and Indies at 68% and 67% respectively. Take those figures with a surge in voters self-identifying as Republican and a near-collapse in Donkey IDs, and you have the makings of a rout.
But then there’s this second poll, which seems to make no sense in light of the above:
Voters in battleground House districts held by freshman Democrats approve of the Tea Party more than they disapprove of it, but say it won’t influence their choice on Election Day.
The Hill/ANGA 2010 Midterm Election Poll of 12 crucially competitive districts found a 45-34 favorable-unfavorable rating for the conservative grassroots movement. But 55 percent of independents and 53 percent of Republicans say Tea Party support for a candidate will not make any difference.
If there’s anything animating people to vote Republican this cycle, it’s Tea Party disgust with Obamanomics — health care, trillion-dollar deficits, cap and trade, etc. So how does that square with the TP label doing more to animate Democrats against a candidate than it does a Republican to go for candidate?
Simple: Republicans (and lots of Indies) are already jazzed to vote out the ruling party, regardless of any Tea Party affiliation. Democrats, on the other hand, need something to get motivated, and their party’s performance these last 18 months just ain’t gonna get that job done.