October 7 2010
Voters on the right are largely responsible for the "enthusiasm gap."
Democrats aren't going to turn out in droves this November, but their expected low turnout is not as simple as the president being "insufficiently liberal." For starters, it's a midterm election, which elicits less enthusiasm from the incumbent party. And while it's possible the president has let down the left through his foreign policy, most Democrats remain supportive of his (albeit failed) Keynesian economic policies: the takeover of GM, Cash for Clunkers, the $700 billion TARP bill, the $787 billion economic stimulus bill, the health care overhaul, and the financial reform bill.
But this is lackluster support; it's support for the status quo. And what's more, the left is enervated because these policies are not improving the current economic climate (see the jobless numbers today).
The gap comes from the other side - from independents, mainstream Republicans, and tea party activists who are frustrated, angry, and, as a result, very enthused. Obama has governed so far to the left that he's frightened voters from the center to the right, who see his big-government policies as not only a threat to our economic security, but also to the Constitution and individual freedom. And that makes the anger personal and emotional. And it's enough to generate a whole lot of enthusiasm.