Per a report in the Washington Post, “Republicans are far more enthusiastic than Democrats to vote this fall and that gap will likely mean a major GOP turnout edge.”
The analysis is based upon several recent polls and while the anticipated GOP advantage among likely voters isn’t as high as it has been in the past, it’s high enough to point to significant Republican gains across the board.
The average likely voter swing toward Republicans is 5.5 percentage points across the four polls, slightly smaller than Republicans’ advantage in 2010 (a 6.3-point swing toward Republicans) but clearly larger than in other recent midterms like 2006 (a 1-point swing) or 2002 (a 2.5-point swing).
Additionally, with two months to go before election day how issues continue to play out will likely matter. If the GOP can continue to hammer issues such as foreign policy, immigration and the economy, building on current momentum, they may very well expand this margin even more.
The latest national polls largely jibe with polling earlier this year that found Republicans with a significant turnout advantage, albeit smaller than in 2010. Results for basic vote intention are a cruder but clearer way to see what’s driving the selection of likely voters. In the latest Post-ABC poll, registered voters supporting Republican House candidates were eight points more apt to say they are “absolutely certain to vote” than those supporting Democratic candidates; in 2010, the Republican advantage was 13 percentage points.