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This number is bad news for Republicans in the midterms

Midterm elections -- like the one coming up in 2018 -- are all about turning out base voters. Why? History tells us t...

Posted: Dec 8, 2017 9:22 AM
Updated: Dec 8, 2017 9:22 AM

Midterm elections -- like the one coming up in 2018 -- are all about turning out base voters. Why? History tells us that only the most stalwart partisans turn out when the presidential race isn't on the ballot. So if your side wants to pick up House and Senate seats in a non-presidential election, you need to find ways to excite its most committed members.

Which is where the Republican tax plan approved by the Senate last week comes in. And the fact that, according to a new CBS poll, lots more people hate the plan than love it.

Just 16% of people in the poll said they "strongly" approved of the GOP tax plan. That number pales in comparison to the 40% who said they "strongly" disapprove of it.

A similar question -- "Which best describes how you would feel if the Republican tax plan was signed into law?" -- produced equally concerning results for Republicans. Just 8% said they would be "excited" by the new tax law while 22% said they would be "angry." (Another 28% said they would be "satisfied" and 31% said they would be "disappointed.")

Dig into the numbers and the direness for Republicans becomes more apparent. While 46% of Republicans strongly approve of the tax plan, 71% of Democrats strongly disapprove.

Ditto the "angry" versus "excited" breakdown. Just 19% of Republicans said they were excited about the prospect of the tax bill becoming law as compared to 39% of Democrats who said they were angry.

What those numbers suggest is that the Republican tax bill is a major motivator for Democratic base voters and far less of one for the GOP base. Meaning that the tax bill looks far more likely to drive Democrats to the polls to show their anger and disapproval than it is to push Republicans to vote next November in support of it.

The base enthusiasm problem surrounding the tax bill is indicative of a broader enthusiasm gap between the two party bases. Democrats, at the moment, are extremely motivated to go to the ballot box and send a message -- a negative one -- to President Donald Trump. Republicans are far less enthused to turn out to show support for Trump.

In Virginia's 2017 election, Democrats comprised 41% of the overall electorate as compared to just 30% for Republicans, according to exit polling. Almost half of the electorate (47%) said they strongly disapproved of Trump, and Democratic nominee Ralph Northam won 95% of those voters.

If Republicans can't close that enthusiasm gap, they are in for a very rough 2018 election. And, at least at first glance, their much-touted tax cut plan makes their passion problem worse, not better.

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1605320

Reported Deaths: 27132
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook61354910964
DuPage1039171357
Will873121089
Lake771121060
Kane65888850
Winnebago39007544
Madison38143576
St. Clair35003569
McHenry33032316
Peoria25972362
Champaign25862182
Sangamon24588271
McLean21879207
Tazewell19736326
Rock Island17806344
Kankakee16784234
Kendall15459106
LaSalle14496275
Macon14478240
Vermilion13234189
Adams12695148
DeKalb11667128
Williamson11419157
Whiteside7897176
Jackson769188
Boone760082
Coles7341112
Ogle713486
Grundy701281
Franklin686899
Clinton681498
Knox6651164
Marion6547138
Macoupin646399
Henry620474
Jefferson6060132
Effingham604382
Livingston571295
Woodford554291
Stephenson546289
Randolph529297
Monroe508199
Christian491780
Fulton487970
Morgan487296
Logan477474
Montgomery467476
Lee458156
Bureau427188
Perry415171
Saline409263
Fayette398956
Iroquois394673
McDonough354956
Jersey322253
Shelby311843
Douglas306636
Crawford304130
Lawrence301131
Union296747
Wayne274057
White265930
Richland262054
Hancock256334
Pike255956
Cass250928
Clark250738
Bond244024
Clay240047
Ford235256
Edgar234744
Carroll225437
Warren224960
Johnson213524
Moultrie211831
Jo Daviess206126
Washington206127
Wabash200915
Greene200739
Mason199351
Massac198144
De Witt195530
Piatt190814
Mercer190634
Cumberland178325
Menard158612
Jasper152418
Marshall134721
Hamilton128821
Brown10178
Pulaski98311
Schuyler9688
Edwards96315
Stark76827
Gallatin7435
Scott6975
Alexander67611
Henderson65114
Calhoun6442
Hardin56013
Putnam5444
Pope4815
Unassigned1882432
Out of IL40

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 941120

Reported Deaths: 15315
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1282511983
Lake633041097
Allen53609758
Hamilton43827447
St. Joseph41906590
Elkhart33545490
Vanderburgh30383448
Tippecanoe26820249
Johnson23609417
Hendricks22250341
Porter21737346
Clark17409229
Madison17366384
Vigo16108281
Monroe14466191
LaPorte14311239
Delaware14070221
Howard13865272
Kosciusko11418135
Hancock10841165
Warrick10674177
Bartholomew10542168
Floyd10430205
Wayne9959226
Grant9130204
Morgan8865160
Boone8389111
Dubois7710123
Dearborn762289
Henry7608130
Noble7413101
Marshall7362128
Cass7176117
Lawrence6957153
Shelby6584111
Jackson656785
Gibson6156107
Harrison603786
Huntington600195
Montgomery5805105
DeKalb574291
Knox5494104
Miami542488
Putnam536768
Clinton533665
Whitley524953
Steuben497268
Wabash483592
Jasper479160
Jefferson470092
Ripley454277
Adams444068
Daviess4169108
Scott405865
White391857
Clay390857
Greene388392
Decatur385296
Wells384983
Fayette374278
Posey359941
Jennings353156
Washington332047
LaGrange321375
Spencer317835
Fountain316555
Randolph312888
Sullivan307449
Owen283863
Starke280064
Fulton277553
Orange275859
Jay254837
Perry251652
Carroll243729
Franklin239338
Rush234130
Vermillion233250
Parke219820
Tipton209655
Pike207639
Blackford168334
Pulaski163551
Crawford146018
Newton144345
Benton142516
Brown135346
Martin128217
Switzerland125810
Warren114616
Union96911
Ohio79711
Unassigned0479