About that enthusiasm

In the previous post I briefly mentioned the relative enthusiasm between Republicans and Democrats, and how the former seems more enthusiastic. This leads several pundits and prognosticators to believe the Republicans are getting ready to sweep.

I sorta noted the problem with this, but let me make it plainer. The number of people who say they’re Republicans is shrinking.

As little as a couple of years ago, a bit over 40% of the population claimed to be Democrats, a bit under 40% claimed to be Republicans, and the remaining 15-20% claimed to be other/Independents.

In polls today, Republicans are about 25%, Democrats are about 35%, and the remaining 40% claim to be independents. And at that point things get a bit interesting. See, Kevin Drum noted today that it appears every time Republican enthusiasm goes up, Independent support goes down.

I’ll probably repeat this again, but the Republican party is dealing with a zealotry problem. Zealots tend to be exclusive. In a situation where the only thing that matters is votes, there’s a negative feedback cycle that eventually ends the zealots as they throw out the impure and less-than-true believers. Human nature, unfortunately, means the end will be loud and exciting. (Hopefully, it’s just sound and fury signifying nothing. But sometimes someone has their figurative or literal hand on a button or lever that can make it just a bit more than nothing.)

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