Steve Benen talks about the Obama-McCain "enthusiasm gap":
...A couple of weeks ago, an NBC/WSJ poll found that most of Obama's supporters are motivated by their support for him. Fewer than 40% of McCain voters could say the same. The Journal's pollster noted, "It is not that these voters aren't for McCain." What’s lacking is "the enthusiasm, the passion, the energy" of the other side.
The problem for the GOP persists.
A new USA Today/Gallup poll has Obama leading McCain among likely voters by six points, 50%-44%.
But the most revealing numbers in the survey were the ones measuring voter enthusiasm: 61% of Democrats said they were more enthusiastic than usual about voting in this year’s election, while just 35% of Republicans said that.
(Stories on the USA Today/Gallup poll are here and here.)
The level of enthusiasm might be important, but I want a different question asked as well, one pollsters never ask: How important do you think that you candidate wins in November?
I think a lot of Republicans, especially the hardcore base, will hold their noses while voting for McCain -- but the harcore types are precisely the ones who are likely to believe that if Obama is elected, all guns will be confiscated, the national anthem will be changed to "The Internationale," and Americans will soon required to pray to Mecca five times a day.
I'd like some sense of how many voters on each side think we absolutely can't afford to elect the other guy. Please, someone, poll that.