R Block Party co-founders and conservative activists Lori Horn and Nikki Mata spoke Tuesday of the increased enthusiasm they’ve seen in Republican circles leading up to the Nov. 6 election.
Horn noted that she and Mata are both precinct committeepeople in the same neighborhood in Arapahoe County.
“We know the minute a sign is stolen, they’re calling us on the phone and they want to replace that sign,” said Horn. “The neighborhood is full of them. Even in downtown Denver, I went from 14th to Speer on York and it was just solid Romney signs.”
“We’ve seen an enthusiasm gap for months, actually, but it seems to be growing wider and wider and wider,” said Mata. “A lot of Obama events really had a lack of enthusiasm, a lack of people turning out, six months ago; and the increase of enthusiasm on the Republican side has really grown.”
Early voting totals – which Colorado Peak Politics has been following – for the state confirm a significant shift in the Republican direction from 2008. On October 30, 2008 (5 days before the election, as opposed to a week out this time), Democrats comprised 37.7% of early voters, Republicans, 35.9%, and Unaffiliated voters, 26.4%.
This year, Republicans hold a 38.4% to 35.6% advantage, a 4.6% swing in their direction.
But it’s actually better than that for Republicans. They have turned out 1.3% more of their party members than have Democrats. In 2008, they trailed the Democrats by about 6 points in this metric. (See below the fold to check our math.)
This is a significant improvement in the Republicans’ ground game compared to the last Presidential election. Party enthusiasm is thus feeding into the election effort twice: Republicans are more likely to vote for their candidate, and they’re more likely to help get like-minded voters to the polls.
The Secretary of State doesn’t provide the active/inactive breakdown by party from October of 2008, but if we assume that the percentages of active voters are the same for each party this time as they were in 2008, then this is a major shift in and of itself.