Romney's Debate Performance Increases The Enthusiasm Gap, Narrows The Electability Gap

October 11, 2012, 12:00 PM GMT+0

(Week of 10/6/2012) In recent weeks, it appeared that the gap in voter enthusiasm between Romney and Obama supporters was closing. While enthusiasm numbers throughout the summer indicated that Romney voters were more likely to make it to the polls on election day, the closing of the gap throughout September suggested that Obama supporters had become roused to higher levels of excitement by the Democratic convention. But this week’s Economist/YouGov Poll shows that the enthusiasm gap between Romney and Obama supporters has returned — and is as wide as ever — in the wake of last week’s presidential debate.

Last week, 36% of Obama supporters said they were "extremely enthusiastic" about voting this year, only seven points fewer than the percentage of Romney voters who said this. This week, enthusiasm rose among supporters of both men, but it rose much faster among Romney supporters than among Obama supporters. As a result, the enthusiasm gap between Romney and Obama supporters is now at 12%, with 57% of Romney supporters reporting that they are "extremely enthusiastic" about voting but only 45% of Obama supporters reporting the same feeling.

Last week, Barack Obama held a nearly three-to-one lead when registered voters were asked which candidate would win on November 6. Romney’s debate win has cut that gap, from 36 points a week ago to 24 points today. Now, more than half of Romney’s own voters think he will win, up from 46% last week.

But the election remains all about Barack Obama. A majority of Romney supporters continue to say they are mainly voting against the President, not for Romney.

Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here

Photo source: Press Association