SoonerPoll and Gallup results point to broad Republican strength in November
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Published: 12-Jul-2010

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 12-Jul-2010

The latest SoonerPoll finds a majority of Oklahomans more enthusiastic about this years election than in years previous. SoonerPoll found 50.7 percent of respondents said they were more enthusiastic than in previous elections compared to only 39.2 percent who are less enthusiastic.

Republicans are more enthusiastic about elections this year than Democrats;  63.7 percent of Republicans say they are more enthusiastic about the election compared to only 39.8 percent of Democrats.

“We have seen a lot of opposition to actions spearheaded by the Democratic party since the previous election,” Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll, said. “The recent government bailouts and the passage of the health care reform law has galvanized the right and many Republicans are more than ready to cast their vote in opposition this November.”

Here in Oklahoma, Shapard’s SoonerPoll.com commissioned and conducted a  scientific study using live interviewers by telephone of 503 likely voters from May 25 – June 8, 2010. The study has a margin of error of ± 4.4 percent.

The Tea Party, which 52.5 percent of Oklahomans now find favorable, is one of the most outspoken groups advocating political change in the run up to this years election. The Tea Party leads in enthusiasm towards the upcoming election with 65.5 percent of those who favor the Tea Party more enthusiastic about this election than past elections.

Enthusiasm among independents is high as well with 50 percent of Independents more enthusiastic to vote in this election. Age also played a role in determining enthusiasm for the election, 51.7 percent of those 35 years old or older were more enthusiastic about this election while only 30.4 percent of those 34 and under are more enthusiastic.

In July 2008, only months before the 2008 elections, SoonerPoll asked the same question and received different results. In 2008, Democrats were more enthusiastic than Republicans by a 7.3 point margin and voters age 18 to 34 were more enthusiastic than those 35 and over by a margin of 3 points.

“These results show a radical change in enthusiasm since the previous election, however these results are not out of step with results from similar nationwide polls,” Shapard said.

In analysis sent to CapitolBeatOK, SoonerPoll pointed to the newest nationwide Gallup Poll, which shows that Republicans are leading in voting enthusiasm, even setting record high enthusiasm marks for mid term elections, while younger voters are less enthusiastic for this election. Political insiders have long seen voter enthusiasm is an early indicator of likely voter turnout.

Peter Roff, in his online column for U.S. News & World Report circulated today (July 12), also analyzed the Gallup data, finding it indicates probable -- but not certain -- nationwide gains for Republicans in November.

Roff wrote:

“The momentum away from the Democrats is almost certainly fueled by a case of buyers’ remorse among Independents who bought a package when they voted for Obama only to find they did not get what they were expecting. But it is still momentum away from the Democrats, not toward the Republicans -- a qualitative difference that will be increasingly important in the weeks and months ahead.”

The Gallup poll’s own analysis of the latest national survey concluded that “historical trends suggest that a slight Republican lead on the generic ballot among registered voters -- or even a statistical tie -- would translate into sizable Republican seat gains in Congress on Election Day, given their typical advantage in voter turnout.”

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