As anyone who reads this blog somewhat regularly knows, I feel there is a big risk of a President Bachmann in 2013. I have given plenty of reasons previously, but the biggest one that scares me is the enthusiasm gap on the left. A new Public Policy Polling poll verifies that fear:
There's been plenty of bad news for Barack Obama this month in the form of his approval numbers, but our polling finds that his problems go deeper than that. Democratic enthusiasm about voting in next year's election has hit a record low this month.
Only 48% of Democrats on our most recent national survey said they were 'very excited' about voting in 2012. On the survey before that the figure was 49%. Those last two polls are the only times all year the 'very excited' number has dipped below 50%.
In 13 polls before August the average level of Democrats 'very excited' about voting next year had averaged 57%. It had been as high as 65% and only twice had the number even dipped below 55%.
Face it - the left is getting fed up. The President has constantly caved to the demands of the right, yet the right and the media makes it sound like everything sound like a victory for the left. Team Obama is also doing nothing to soothe over the disconnect between him and the base. That can easily lead to disaster next month.
With Bachmann in the top three in the Republican field and barring any last minute entries by some golden child, the fear of President Bachmann continues to grow. Just consider the two leading Bachmann - Romney and Perry. Both have parts of the base that absolutely doesn't like them. Bachmann is somewhat back burner now, so most people don't have much of an opinion of her, except that she has an R by her name.
Consider this. Just this week a PPP poll came out in Ohio, showing Obama only leading by +8 over Bachmann. When you consider how quick the left is to dismiss Bachmann as a contender, that number is really scary. In comparison, Obama is only +4 over Perry and +2 over Romney.
Still not enough? Well look at this chart from RCP that is averaging aggregated poll data over the past several months and see if a couple of items pop out at you:
I see two things, one obvious and one not so much. First off we see Palin edging out Bachmann by 0.4 points. What's scary there is that Palin isn't in the race. If/when it becomes more obvious she won't jump in, we can expect to see a lot of that support switch over to Bachmann. Even if only 1/2 of the Palin supporters do that, Bachmann will be within the MOE of Perry.
The second item, and one that isn't as obvious, is the historic trending of Bachmann. She was polling in second place until a couple of weeks ago. What happened then? Well Rick Perry got in the race. When that happened, Bachmann had a serious drop. This shows that Bachmann supporters quickly switched to Perry, but if something happens to them, we can see that support switch back to Bachmann.
There is one final item to consider, which doesn't appear in this poll. At this time in 2007, can you guess which candidate was consistently polling in 3rd place? That would be John McCain. A lot of wonks on the left were quick to dismiss him too and yet he won the primary. Of course McCain had one big thing going against him that Obama didn't - an energized left base. If we don't have that this year, which it looks like we won't, then the Republican candidate already has a huge advantage. That candidate can easily be Michele Bachmann just given the polling data and the history of the Republican primaries.