Nate Silver On “Enthusiasms…Enthusiasms”

“A man become preeminent he is expected to have enthusiams…enthusiasms…enthusiasms.”


Boy am I glad there are level headed intellectual-types like Nate doing the hard work for the rest of us. 😉

Seriously, Silver points out clearly that there is not a dearth of enthusiasm on the left – in fact Democratic enthusiasm is up compared to all mid-term years since 1994 with the exception of 2006 – but rather there is an unusually high level of enthusiasm on the right.

  • It could mean that Democrats were particularly unenthusiastic, relative to a typical midterm election year — whereas Republican enthusiasm was about average. That would produce an enthusiasm gap, and would tell us a story about a depressed (or dissatisfied, or complacent) Democratic base.
  • Or, it could mean that Republicans were unusually excited about the elections, while Democratic enthusiasm was just at par. That would also produce an enthusiasm gap. But it would be much more a story about Republican excitement than one about disarray in the Democratic base.
  • In fact, it’s the latter explanation that seems to hold this year. The enthusiasm gap has more to do with abnormally high levels of Republican interest in the election than with despondent Democrats.

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