The Enthusiasm Gap Spells Doom for the Biden Campaign

The Enthusiasm Gap Spells Doom for the Biden Campaign

With coronavirus dominating the news coverage, you can be forgiven if you completely forgot that we’re in the middle of a presidential race. Not only is the virus the only story in the news right now, Joe Biden is seemingly absent. After days out of the public eye recently, he returned only to embark on a gaffe tour on the major networks before being accused of an alleged sexual assault incident from 1993.

Needless to say, things could be going better for Joe.

Gleaning data from the polls gives a mixed picture. The RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Joe Biden as the favorite in a head to head against President Trump – but those betting on the election have Trump as the favorite. Betting odds have historically had more predictive power in the outcomes of elections than the polls. Part of the discrepancy in this case could be that the polls aren’t taking into account voter enthusiasm. Regardless of what the polls said on election day, the candidate with more enthusiasm has always won the past four presidential elections.

According to Unbiased America’s Kevin Ryan: President Trump has gained significant ground on Joe Biden in a new Washington Post poll, and has a huge voter enthusiasm advantage over the former vice president.

Despite Biden’s slight lead in the polls , the former vice president suffers from a huge enthusiasm gap compared to the president. 86% of registered voters who currently side with Trump say they are enthusiastic about their support for him, 12 points higher than the 74% enthusiasm of Biden supporters.

But, according to the Washington Post, “even more telling is the gap in the intensity of that enthusiasm, which can translate into who turns out to vote and who might not.” Among Trump supporters, 55% say they are very enthusiastic about backing him, while a far smaller 28% of Biden supporters say they are very enthusiastic about their candidate. That amounts to a 27 point “strong enthusiasm” advantage for the president.

The Washington Post says that “Biden’s current enthusiasm deficit is potentially worrisome for the challenger and his campaign based on recent presidential contests”, pointing out each loser of the past three elections suffered from a gap among voters who said they were very enthusiastic.

“Very Enthusiastic” supporter gaps during election year:

• 2020 – Joe Biden: 29-point deficit against President Trump.
• 2016 – Hillary Clinton: 13-point deficit against Donald Trump.
• 2012 – Mitt Romney: 25-point deficit against President Obama.
• 2008 – John McCain: 33-point deficit against Barack Obama.
• 2004 – John Kerry: 16-point deficit against President George W. Bush.

All of the candidates who were trailing in enthusiasm lost. Including Hillary Clinton. She, too, had a slim lead over Trump among registered voters and lagged in enthusiasm, trailing Trump by 13 points in the “very enthusiastic” category in September 2016. Biden is doing 16 points worse than Clinton was.

Admittedly, I’m surprised there’s even a single person enthusiastic to vote for Joe Biden (and that includes Biden himself, who recently seemed to be under the impression that he’s running for Senate!)


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