Gallup just published a poll on voter enthusiasm, broken down by age. The main point – younger voters are showing fairly typical enthusiasm levels towards the 2010 elections (i.e., low ones) – is interesting (and entertaining), but there’s another important bit that did not get particularly addressed. And it’s an even more entertaining point.

Gallup provided one chart showing how voter preferences in the 2010 midterms broke down by age, with the following results:

Age
% Dem
% Rep

18 to 29
51
39

30 to 49
44
46

50 to 64
45
47

65+
41
50

…and while Gallup accurately noted that the numbers for under-30 year olds are better for the Democrats than for any other age group the polling organization somehow completely neglected to make any sort of historical comparison.  It might have been interesting, for example, if Gallup had compared these numbers to its survey of the 2008 exit polling data

Age
Obama
McCain

Under 30 years
61
39

30 to 49 years
53
47

50 to 64 years
54
46

65 and older
46
54

50 and older
51
49

Yes. Very interesting.  For one thing, Gallup would have been able to suggest that there was some indication that GOP voter enthusiasm remains more or less unchecked from 2010, while Democratic enthusiasm has declined across the board.  And that the Democrats’ problem is not that the youth vote is less enthusiastic about voting against Republican candidates: it’s that their support from voters between 30 and 64 has apparently taken similar nosedives.  And that over-65 voters appear even more ready to vote Republican this go-round.  All of these things would have made for an improved article… which would have challenged Gallup’s assumption that the Democrats are correct to concentrate on the 2010 youth vote in the first place.

That’s starting to look like a dubious assumption.

Moe Lane

Crossposted to Moe Lane.