Voter enthusiasm running higher than 2016, 2012: survey

Voter enthusiasm running higher than 2016, 2012: survey
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Voter enthusiasm for the 2020 election is running ahead of levels in 2016 and 2012, according to Gallup polling released Tuesday.

Sixty-seven percent of respondents said they are more enthusiastic about voting than usual, around the level reported in September 2008 and September 2004. High enthusiasm levels are bipartisan, with 80 percent of Democrats and 75 percent of Republicans both saying they are now more enthusiastic than usual.

GOP enthusiasm is at a similar level to this point in 2004, while Democrats are outpacing their previous record of 68 percent in 2008, Gallup noted.


A slight majority of independents, 54 percent, said they are more enthusiastic about the 2020 election, however, the largest gap on record between that group and Democrats and Republicans.

The pollster notes that while its enthusiasm polling has not historically been strongly predictive of turnout, it could reflect partisans’ respective confidence in their chances of winning.

Attention to the election is also up, with about 74 percent of adults saying they are giving the upcoming election “quite a lot” of thought. Seventy-one percent of respondents said they were thinking “quite a lot” about the election in August before the scaled-down party conventions began and 59 percent agreed in April.

The level of attention is comparable to this point ahead of previous elections. It stood at 72 percent in 2016 and 73 percent in 2012, while it was at 80 percent at this point in 2008 and 77 percent in 2004.

Eighty-three percent of Republicans and 81 percent of Democrats said they are giving the 2020 election a lot of thought, compared to 64 percent of independents.

Pollsters surveyed 1,023 adults Sept. 14-28. The poll has a 4-point margin of error.