“Voter enthusiasm” might be one of the most annoying catchphrases of the 2020 election that we hear over and over again. If we’re to believe people who bring this up, it doesn’t matter who’s actually ahead in polls, but who voters are the most excited about coming out to support. It doesn’t make much sense when you think about it for more than a minute, since ballots cast by unenthusiastic voters count just as much as ones by voters who are passionate about their candidate.
Even though Donald Trump’s approval rating is absolutely dismal for an election year – and wasn’t a whole lot better during his term, never cracking 50% – we’ve been hearing this constant narrative among media pundits that Trump voters are far more enthusiastic than the Democrats are about voting for Joe Biden in November, and that this will somehow propel Trump to victory. It’s the same narrative that Trump’s shady former campaign manager Brad Parscale has been peddling lately to keep the donations coming in and to keep Trump from throwing another tantrum.
Ironically, it could be Donald Trump who has the enthusiasm problem. While the Trump campaign touted a USA Today poll that showed about half of Trump’s supporters being very enthusiastic this election and only about 27% of Biden’s voters feeling the same way, they fail to mention that only about 22% of voters strongly approve of Trump’s performance, and nearly half of voters strongly disapprove. It’s fair to say there’s a decent number of voters who are enthusiastic about Trump being removed from office.
The enthusiasm gap tends to make a difference when the numbers are close in an election, but the numbers we’ve been seeing lately are anything but. Of course, these polls only matter if we turn out on November 3, and getting rid of Donald Trump and his criminal administration should be all the motivation anyone needs to cast their vote.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making