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Monday, April 26, 2010

Insights on a Potential 2008 Repeat in 2010

President Barack Obama wants those who got him elected in 2008 to return to the polls in 2010 in favor of Democrats around the country.

“It will be up to each of you to make sure that the young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women who powered our victory in 2008 stand together once again,” Obama said in a video message on YouTube.

For that to happen, those key groups must both support Democrats and actually show up to vote. Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post documents the challenge inherent in securing that one-two punch, looking back at exit polling from the 2008 presidential election and the 2009 governors' races in New Jersey and Virginia.

Our Gallup tracking of Election 2010 key indicators tracks the likelihood of a 2010 repeat going forward. As part of our Gallup Daily tracking, we're asking Americans every night about their preferences in the November election as well as their enthusiasm to vote. This allows us to look at both key metrics among the target population Democrats -- and Republicans -- hope to see at the polls in November.

Our Editor in Chief Frank Newport dove right in to find out what we know about one critical group -- young voters. The data reveal a mixed bag for Democrats. Voters 18 to 29 years old lean heavily toward the Democratic candidate in their district (51% to 39%). But that advantage disappears among all other age groups -- and older voters are known to turn out to vote with much more reliability. Enthusiasm for voting is one way to gauge potential turnout and our data finds young voters lagging older voters by double-digit margins.

Of course, enthusiasm will ebb and flow over the course of the next six months leading up to Election Day, as will voters' preferences. That's exactly why we're tracking these measures week by week and reporting our most newsworthy findings on

Tuesday, our Jeff Jones goes even deeper, looking at more key demographic groups and what we know about them so far based on our data. (Update: Read the story.) Our political team also maintains a running commentary of all 2010 election polling in our new blog 2010 Central.

Finally, for those looking for in-depth analysis straight from the source, sign up for our summit on the 2010 Midterm elections, where political experts will join Gallup analysts to provide context and a clear roadmap for effectively tracking the 2010 midterm campaign in the months leading up to November.

To make sure you are always up to date on Gallup's insights regarding this year's midterm elections, sign up for our Election 2010 e-mail alerts and RSS feeds.


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