February 29, 2016

Numbers Don’t Lie, The Democratic Party Has An Enthusiasm Problem

For months, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has been telling everyone that her supporters are enthusiastic and would turn out in droves for her on primary day. With four Democratic primaries completed, that does not appear to be the case when you look at the numbers.

According to a Huffington Post report:

 In primary after primary this cycle, Democratic voters just aren’t showing up. Only 367,491 people cast a ballot for either Clinton or Sanders on Saturday. That’s down 16 percent from the 436,219 people who came out in 2008 for Clinton and Obama.

A reason why people aren’t turning out for the Democratic primaries could be the DNC’s decision to hide the party’s debates on weekends.  Another could be a general lack of enthusiasm about Clinton’s message, which remains unclear to voters and pundits alike.

The article also argues that voters generally don’t get excited for four more years of same party rule:

It’s always hard to motivate voters for four more years of the same old thing after getting eight years of it — especially when many of those years were mired in an awful recession, followed by a weak economic recovery. Opposition parties typically have a better hand after eight years. That’s why 12-year runs in the presidency by a single party don’t happen very often.

This morning, CNN highlighted the lack of enthusiasm within the Democratic Party with this graph:

New Day - 08_21_44 AM

Democratic strategist Paul Begala says the enthusiasm gap keeps him up at night.

 

Both David Axelrod and Brad Woodhouse concede that there is an enthusiasm gap within the Democratic Party.

Woodhouse:

Axelrod:

Regardless of the reason, these numbers show a lack of enthusiasm within the Democratic Party, something that is starting to worry the Democratic establishment.