A new CNN poll shows Americans are already more excited about next year’s presidential election than they were at this point before the last four presidential elections. Forty-five percent say they are “extremely enthusiastic,” 26% say they are “very enthusiastic,” 15% say they are “somewhat enthusiastic,” 7% say they are “not too enthusiastic,” and 6% are “not at all enthusiastic.”
At this point before the 2016 election, only 30% said they were “extremely enthusiastic,” 24% said they were “very enthusiastic,” 25% said they were “somewhat enthusiastic,” 10% said they were “not too enthusiastic,” and 12% said they were “not at all enthusiastic” about the presidential contest a year away. At this point before the 2012 race, those numbers were 28%, 23%, 28%, 9%, and 12%; before the 2008 presidential election, they were 26%, 28%, 27%, 13%, and 6%; and at this point before the 2004 election, they were 19%, 34%, 31%, 11%, and 4%.
In recent elections, turnout has generally increased with each election. These early enthusiasm numbers are signs that 2020 will likely continue that trend with turnout continuing to increase. This suggests parties need to perfect their GOTV operations. Republicans are on a good track to do so as shown by their win in the North Carolina special election this past Tuesday. That said, base turnout cannot be either party’s exclusive focus. As essential to victory, each party must also concentrate on persuading and turning out lukewarm party members and Independents who are enthusiastic about voting, but undecided or only weakly linked to their choice.
How enthusiastic would you say you are about voting for president in next year’s election -- extremely enthusiastic, very enthusiastic, somewhat enthusiastic, not too enthusiastic, or not at all enthusiastic?