And the Title of ‘Most Enthusiastic Midterm Voters’ Goes To…

And the Title of ‘Most Enthusiastic Midterm Voters’ Goes To…

Conventional wisdom has it that the “angry woman” theory is the reason some polls are showing Democrats surging. The thinking goes that millions of women are enraged about the Dobbs decision leaving abortion up to the states and will take their anger out on Republicans at the polls.

Hell hath no fury like some women who are unable to abort their babies. Also, women are angry at Donald Trump because, well, he’s Donald Trump, after all, and Democrats are making damn sure that women think that Trump is on the ballot in November. He’s not, but why stop the Democrats now? They’re on a roll.

The “angry women” are going to march to the polls in lockstep on Election Day and robotically pull the lever for Democrats. Or so we’re told.

But conventional wisdom is not always the wisest — especially when it comes to Democrats who engage in wishful thinking rather than penetrating analysis. In fact, it may not be “angry women” leading the way in enthusiasm to vote at all. An analysis by the Washington Post’s Philip Bump gives surprising results as to who is most eager to go to the polls and vote in November.

On Tuesday, I looked at the growing murmurs that American women in particular are going to flood the polls in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Protecting access to abortion in the wake of the dismantling of Roe v. Wade quickly became a rallying cry aimed at November — but polling doesn’t indicate that Democrats have seen a big surge in support from female voters.

In fact, data provided to The Washington Post by the polling firm YouGov indicate that the group that reports the most enthusiasm about voting is the polar opposite of what many expect: Republican men. And that this enthusiasm has grown.

It’s glorious to see conventional wisdom explode so massively and so completely.

There’s no doubt that the Dobbs decision energized that portion of the electorate concerned about abortion rights. But those voters already supported Democrats. And how short-lived was that “enthusiasm”? The burst of outrage and indignation — fed by the Hollywood left and other celebrities who publicly wept over their “lost” abortion rights — has faded while enthusiasm to vote among Republican men has ticked up.

The patterns are more clear if we look at four-week groups of reported enthusiasm. If we consider the four polls before Dobbs, the four immediately after and the four most recent, you see that enthusiasm is pretty flat among independents and Republican women. For Republican men, their already-high level of enthusiasm ticked upward. For Democratic men and women, enthusiasm increased quite a bit post-Dobbs and then waned.

The “post-Dobbs bounce,” which has Democrats dreaming that there’s a possibility of them hanging on to the House, is probably due more to Biden’s slightly improved approval numbers than to any increase in likely female voters. That said, pollsters are going to have to re-evaluate their models of “likely voters” if those numbers of Republican men hold up.

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