Remember how we have been hearing for the last several months from the talking heads in corporate media about this vaunted "enthusiasm gap"? Poll after poll they quote almost daily about how the Republicans lead the Democrats by several percentage points in being enthused about voting this year. Even some "inside the beltway" democratic strategists have repeated these very same words. But is this really accurate?
I saw a report on Fox News this morning about early voting for the 2010 election. I then did a google search and came across an article on the same subject on HuffingtonPost. Some interesting things have already happened in the early voting in two states that may suggest this "enthusiasm gap" meme may not be accurate . In the states of Ohio and Iowa, where early voting for the November elections have already started, a trend has emerged.
Fact: In Ohio, over 112, 000 votes have already been cast in two counties that are democratic strongholds. According to Professor Michael P. McDonald, who teaches at George Mason University, this represents over 10% of all ballots cast in the 2006 election in these very same counties.
Fact: In Iowa, 42% of the 119, 430 of the early voters are registered Democrats, while only 29% registered as Republican.
Professor McDonald goes onto to say that he spoke to two Ohio election officials and they stated there there may be two factors to consider for this increase there. One, Ohio recently adopted no-fault absentee voting, which increased the pool of eligible voters. Second, election officials in the two counties referenced, decided to mail an absentee ballot request form to every registered voter.
Also, in Iowa, they are utilizing the mailed ballot in the early voting process there as well.
McDonald cautions that there is no way of knowing if this voting surge for Democrats will continue through election day or not. But the question is why haven't these two stories recieved coverage in the corporate media? Fox News atleast reported the story today.