The Enthusiasm Gap Disappeared Before My Eyes

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    (I’m not sure what to make of this exactly, but it seems promising if true. What are you hearing about early voting in your congressional district? – promoted by lowkell)

    Over the past week or so, I’ve been keeping track of the absentee/early vote here in the 4th Congressional District.  I won’t pretend I wasn’t disappointed in what I saw one week ago.  Republicans had a clear lead in this swing district – about 10% more early voters were identified Republicans.  We didn’t pack up our GOTV operation here at the LeGrow campaign, we just ramped it up – and it appears to be working.

    Two days ago the 10% Republican advantage in early voting shrunk to 2%.  Today, it’s gone.  That’s right – in Virginia’s 4th Congressional District, more identified Democrats have voted early than Republicans.  The much-hyped “enthusiasm gap” disappeared before my eyes in just seven days.

    This is big news.  Not just for Dr. LeGrow but for Democrats across Virginia and the country.  It’s true, Republicans were more enthusiastic just about all year long – but Democrats are coming home – they’re voting, and momentum is on our side.  If we’ve caught up in the 4th District, which went narrowly for Obama in 2008, there’s no reason to believe the same can’t be said of Tom Perriello, Glenn Nye, Rick Boucher, Gerry Connolly, Krystal Ball, Rick Waugh, and Jeff Barnett!

    Here’s the full text of a press release sent out by LeGrow’s Deputy Campaign Manager Evan Feinman earlier today:

    PETERSBURG, VIRGINIA – At the close of early voting in Virginia’s 4th District, Democrats have outvoted Republicans, putting to rest concerns among left leaning groups about a so-called “enthusiasm gap.”  Thousands of early votes have been cast and as of the deadline for early voting, 5pm on Saturday, October 30, slightly more identified Democrats have cast their ballots compared to identified Republicans.

    “This is fantastic news,” remarked Antonio Elias, LeGrow’s Campaign manager.  “We’ve been skeptical all election of the news stories telling us about how Democrats are down and out this election cycle, and these numbers demonstrate that our party is not going to give up control of this government without a fight.”

    In an election year that is likely to see relatively low turnout, early voting is seen by many as a key indicator of the strength and scope of each campaign’s get out the vote efforts.  

    “I think what we’re seeing here is a classic matchup between our grassroots, citizen-based campaign strategy, and their corporate-funded, big-money strategy.” Said Elias.

    Early voting is now closed and the LeGrow campaign is working feverishly to build on this success as the campaign comes to a close.

    The lesson is applicable in all ten Congressional elections in Virginia this year: Democrats are far from done.  Don’t just vote on Tuesday, spend the next 53 hours making sure every Democrat you know takes just 15 minutes on November 2nd to exercise their civic duty.  The country depends on it.



    Antonio M. Elias

    Campaign Manager

    LeGrow for Congress

    • Roland the HTG

      1100 absentee ballots were submitted in the city. Compare that to 700 in the 2006 midterms. In Albemarle County, 2500 absentee ballots. Assuming the absentee ballots follow the voter profile of their respective locales, that amounts to about a 1400 vote margin for Perriello. However, seems safe to assume that a lot of early/absentee voters are more D-leaning (college kids, folks off doing campaign work elsewhere, etc.), so it could well be higher.

    • Venu

      Obama carried the district 51%-49% in ’08, while Forbes carried it 60%-40%. Clearly, there were more than a few Democrats who jumped ship there.