Republican voters are poised to turn out in large numbers in support of the party's candidates this fall, a new poll suggested Thursday.
The Gallup poll found that a key measure of voter enthusiasm showed GOP voters intensely interested in this fall's elections.
Fifty-four percent of Republican voters said they've thought quite a lot or at least some about this year's elections, the poll found.
By comparison, 32 percent of Democrats say the same thing, and 30 percent of independents says they've thought a lot or some about the fall's elections.
The numbers suggest an enthusiasm gap between Republican voters and other would-be voters that could advantage the GOP in a slew of races this fall. The party already enjoys an advantage in opinion polling, and increased GOP turnout and depressed Democratic turnout could mean the difference in some of the closest races.
The poll also showed that conservatives in the GOP are nearly as energized in 2010 as they were in 1994. Sixty-three percent of self-described conservative Republicans said they've given a lot or some thought to this fall's elections. The last time interest by conservatives was higher was in 1994, when 67 percent of conservatives said they were tracking the elections.
The poll, conducted Aug. 23-29, has a 1 percent margin of error.