July 12, 2010
Wesley Burt

Republicans lead in voter enthusiasm as midterm elections approach

Latest SoonerPoll finds a majority of Oklahomans more enthusiastic about this years election than in years previous. 50.7 percent of respondents said they were more enthusiastic than in previous elections compared to only 39.2 percent who are less enthusiastic.

Republicans are more enthusiastic about elections this year than Democrats, 63.7 percent of Republicans say they are more enthusiastic about the election compared to only 39.8 percent of Democrats.

"We have seen a lot of opposition to actions spearheaded by the Democratic party since the previous election," Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll, said. "The recent government bailouts and the passage of the health care reform law has galvanized the right and many Republicans are more than ready to cast their vote in opposition this November.", Oklahoma's Public Opinion Pollster, commissioned and conducted the scientific study using live interviewers by telephone of 503 likely voters from May 25 - June 8, 2010. The study has a margin of error of ±4.4 percent.

The Tea Party, which 52.5 percent of Oklahomans now find favorable, is one of the most outspoken groups advocating political change in the run up to this years election. The Tea Party leads in enthusiasm towards the upcoming election with 65.5 percent of those who favor the Tea Party more enthusiastic about this election than past elections.

Enthusiasm among independents is high as well with 50 percent of Independents more enthusiastic to vote in this election. Age also played a role in determining enthusiasm for the election, 51.7 percent of those 35 years old or older were more enthusiastic about this election while only 30.4 percent of those 34 and under are more enthusiastic.

In July 2008, only months before the 2008 elections, SoonerPoll asked the same question and received decidedly different results. In 2008 Democrats were more enthusiastic than Republicans by a 7.3 point margin and voters age 18 to 34 were more enthusiastic than those 35 and over by a margin of 3 points.

"These results show a radical change in enthusiasm since the previous election, however these results are not out of step with results from similar nationwide polls," Shapard said. Gallup Poll shows that Republicans leading in voting enthusiasm, even setting record high enthusiasm marks for mid term elections, while younger voters are less enthusiastic for this election.

Political insiders have long seen voter enthusiasm is an early indicator of likely voter turnout.

To read coverage of this poll in The Tulsa World click here

Wesley Burt
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Wesley Burt