The latest sign of trouble for the White House comes from a Gallup poll out today, showing that Democrats are not particularly psyched up about 2012. Cue gnashing of teeth:
"Gallup's initial -- and early -- reading on Republicans' and Democrats' enthusiasm for 2012 indicates the emotional climate surrounding that election could be quite different from the climate in 2008," they say sagely. You think?
But this isn't really cause for alarm. Because there is no Republican nominee right now, Democrats don't yet know whom to hate. Elections like 2008, in which Democrats feel genuinely enthusiastic about voting for their candidate, only come around every couple of decades or so. But you can always hate the other guy. Republicans, on the other hand, know whom they hate (oh boy, do they ever), which is why they are all kinds of excited about voting in 2012.
Needless to say, this will change. At the moment, if you're a Democrat, the Republican candidates may appear to offer different degrees of awfulness. But rest assured that by a year from now, you will be disgusted every time you see that jerk of a Republican nominee's face on your television, no matter who he or she turns out to be. You'll fear for the fate of the world if the Republican gets elected. If the polls are looking bad, you might start checking out real estate listings in Vancouver, just out of curiosity. And you'll damn sure turn out on Election Day.
I'm not saying that Republicans might not turn out at higher rates than Democrats. They might. But that enthusiasm gap, if it remains at all, surely won't be as dramatic as it looks right now.