It may only be July, but the Presidential campaign has been in full swing for months in the battleground, swing states. Voters in these states will decide the election and so have been getting plenty of attention from the campaigns. Obama has dumped almost $50 million in advertising in these states, three-fourths of which have been negative attacks on Romney. Romney has spent only about $16 million, an almost 3-1 disadvantage. Yet, yesterday's USAToday/Gallup battleground poll showed that GOP voters in these states have become more enthusiastic about voting since the campaign began. Tell me again how those Bain attacks are working.
Overall 46% of voters in swing states report feeling extremely or very enthusiastic about voting in November. This is slightly higher than nationally, where 43% of voters report feeling extremely or very enthusiastic. However, among those who are "extremely" enthusiastic, a clear divide is emerging:
However, voters in swing states who support Romney for president are more likely than those backing Obama to say they feel "extremely enthusiastic" about voting -- 31% to 23%. The same pattern is seen by party, with 32% of Republicans in the swing states and 25% of Democrats reporting extreme enthusiasm.
Interestingly, in Gallup's May Battleground poll, supporters of Obama and Romney expressed equal levels of "extreme" enthusiasm about voting. As the campaign as unfolded in the swing states, Romney's supporters have become more enthusiastic than Obama's. Remember, this is after Romney has been outspent 3-1. What happens when the spending become 1-1?
Nationally, supporters of Obama and Romney continue to report equal levels of enthusiasm. Its only in the swing states that there as been the shift in enthusiasm towards Romney. This is important, because the campaigns have only really been engaged in the swing states. And, where the campaigns have been engaged, the numbers seem to be shifting towards Romney.
This is also important because many of these swing states feature important down-ballot contests for House and Senate. There are at least seven competitive Senate races in these swing states. If the GOP maintains this enthusiasm edge through November, it could be another very big night for Republicans.
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