A new CNN poll finds Republicans are more enthusiastic about voting in the 2020 Presidential Election than Democrats. Fifty-eight percent of registered Republicans say they are “extremely enthusiastic” about voting next year and 21% say they are “very enthusiastic,” compared to 50% of registered Democratic voters who say they are “extremely enthusiastic” and 29% who say they are “very enthusiastic” about next year’s race. Voters who approve of President Donald J. Trump are also more excited than those who disapprove. Forty-nine percent of those who approve of the president are “extremely enthusiastic” and 23% are “very enthusiastic,” compared to 43% and 28% of those who disapprove, respectively.
It’s good news for Republicans that they have an excitement advantage this far out, but there are reasons for caution. Those numbers will change over time. There may be little difference in turn-out among the “extremely enthusiastic” “very enthusiastic.” And enthusiasm is more intense among voters more likely to opposed Mr. Trump – women, younger voters and college graduates – compared to those who support him – men, older voters and non-college graduates. Forty-eight percent of women, 47% of voters ages 18-to-34 years old and 48% of college graduates say they are “extremely enthusiastic,” compared to 39% of men, 40% of voters 65+ years old and 41% of non-college graduates who say the same.
There are over 19 months until the election and the eventual Democratic nominee will affect these numbers. Will Democrats pick a candidate that excites their base but is also so extreme that he or she ignites Republicans and moderate swing voters to vote against him or her? Or will they nominate someone less on the left wing who may dampen enthusiasm on their own side but attract Independents and weaken Republicans? Time will tell, but in the meantime Republicans can focus on groups like women and college-educated voters who are excited to vote today but need reasons to support the GOP.