01:54 - Source: CNN
Key House races to watch in 2018
CNN —  

The 2018 midterm election is in 258 days.

Democrats are very, very ready for it. Republicans? Not so much.

That’s according to a new CNN/SSRS national poll, which suggests that Democratic voters are far more enthusiastic about the coming midterms than their GOP counterparts.

A majority of registered Democrats – 52% – say they are either “extremely” (30%) or “very” (22%) enthusiastic about “voting for Congress this year.”  

For Republicans, 17% say they are “extremely” enthusiastic about voting this fall while another 23% say they are “very” enthusiastic.

Here’s the big takeaway: Almost twice as many Democrats as Republicans are “extremely” into voting this November. And history tells us that, especially in midterm elections, the most enthusiastic and passionate voters usually vote. Everybody else, well, doesn’t.

Look back at 2010 – a midterm election in which Republicans wracked up massive gains. In the final CNN poll before that election, 54% of registered Republicans called themselves “extremely” or “very” enthusiastic about voting. That was 20 points higher than the percentage of Democrats excited about voting in that same election.

Circumstances can – and sometimes do – change. It’s possible that as the midterms get closer, Republican enthusiasm bumps up amid the stakes-setting from President Trump. (He said last week at CPAC that if Democrats took the congressional majority, they would repeal the Second Amendment.)

But history is stacked against Republicans. In the 20 midterm elections between 1934 and 2014, the party who controlled the presidency lost House seats in all but three (1934 during the Great Depression, 1998 during a backlash against GOP impeachment efforts, 2002 in the runup to the war in Iraq.) 

The Point: Republicans have a base enthusiasm problem. This is not a new phenomenon. But it is one that suggests Democrats are in line for major gains in Congress this fall.

Read Monday’s full edition of The Point, and sign up to have future editions sent to your inbox: