Republicans celebrated with glee Wednesday as an NPR poll showed the “enthusiasm gap” was closing between Democrats and Republicans.
According to the survey, Democratic enthusiasm has been through the roof for the past year while GOP electoral excitement has been anemic. The hearings around Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has closed the gap. Still, things aren’t looking great for Republicans, according to a McClatchy report.
“Personally, I’m not losing sleep about it,” said one GOP strategist who works with Republican donors. “I’m at peace. We will [probably] lose a bunch of seats, such is life.”
Patrick McHugh, who runs the Priorities USA super PAC, explained the ability for Democrats to keep their ads on television and remain competitive is much higher than the GOP.
“Because the other side is relying so much on Congressional Leadership Fund and their outside groups that have to pay sometimes three, four, five times as much for the same points,” he said. “That provides the ability for us to expand the map.”
But they know money alone can’t take back Congress. The GOP has been raising money hand over fist. From the national party to local parties, many are shelling out cash to hold onto seats. Their problem, however, is that the cash has to be spread across far more races. Democrats are accustomed to having to fight, this election, Republicans are being forced to defend officials in states they never expected.
“When we look back, that may very well be the big enthusiasm advantage that we think may have been decisive,” said Republican strategist Rob Stutzman. He noted he expects “the odds are that Republicans lose 30-40 seats.”
Democrats “are running in a better environment than in the last several cycles, and they have a lot of money,” said ex-Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges. “I think you’ll see some of that translate into Democrats taking some of these districts, some of these offices around the country that they otherwise wouldn’t have, shouldn’t have been able to.”
It’s unclear who will manage to score larger turnout numbers in November and polls change almost daily in a news cycle that never stops.