By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
The Democrats are right when they say that 2010 isn't like 1994, the year the Republicans shocked the political world and took control of both the House and Senate for the first time in four decades. That's because the intensity of Republican voters is actually far higher this year than in 1994.
The latest bipartisan George Washington University Battleground Poll reveals that the "intensity gap" between Republicans and Democrats over who most plan to vote in November is 14 points, with 76 percent of Republicans saying they are extremely likely to vote compared to 62 percent of Democrats.
Compare that to 1994, when GOP pollster Ed Goeas says the gap was half: 7 points. Will it last? Goeas says yes, possibly leading to another GOP sweep, though other Republican pollsters don't see the party taking control in the fall. "Republicans should expect an advantage based on history and precedent," says Goeas. "However, it certainly appears they will have an additional advantage in terms of composition of the electorate."
That scares the Democrats. His fellow Battleground Poll pollster Celinda Lake found more worries on the intensity gap when she probed deeper. Independents, for example, who lean Republican, are almost equal to the GOP when it comes to their intensity, with 71 percent saying they're eager to vote. Then there's Obama's base which is down right depressed. She said only 55 percent of younger voters, 54 percent of singles, 57 percent of African-Americans, and 47 percent of Latinos are "enthusiastic" about voting in the fall.
And for perspective, adds Goeas, it was the youth vote that put Obama into the White House.
And don't even get Lake talking about seniors, who are angry with the administration. Long gone are the "Roosevelt seniors," having been replaced with the "Reagan seniors." She says what Democrats need to do to win is "neutralize" their vote, or lose.