It’s down to the ground game now. Who can engage people enough to actually vote — whether by physically busing them to the polls, calling and cajoling or having backers engaged and motivated enough to act on their own?
According to a national Pew Research Center poll conducted Wednesday through Saturday, there is a huge enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats — 61 percent of GOPers compared to 41 percent of Dems say they are more enthusiastic about voting tomorrow.
Though Democrats hold a 1-point registration advantage, Republicans hold a 6-point advantage when it comes to people who say they are likely to vote, according to Pew.
The No. 1 issue? Jobs, of course. Especially with Democrats.
“Among Republicans, comparable percentages cite the job situation (30%), the deficit (27%) and health care (25%) as most important,” Pew researchers write. “Among Democrats, jobs clearly tops the list (at 47%), but health care is cited by 28% as most important to their vote.”
In a separate study Pew used Census data to look at unemployment since the official end of the recession in June 2009 and found, oddly enough, the foreign born have fared better than native Americans in getting jobs. The foreign-born gained 656,000 jobs, while native-born workers lost 1.2 million jobs.
Part of the reason may be a willingness to accept lower pay and a lack of eligibility for 99 weeks of jobless benefits.
“From 2009 to 2010, the median weekly earnings of foreign-born workers decreased 4.5%, compared with a loss of less than one percent for native-born workers,” Pew reports. “Latino immigrants experienced the largest drop in wages of all. It might be that in the search for jobs in the recovery, immigrants were more accepting of lower wages and reduced hours because many, especially unauthorized immigrants, are not eligible for unemployment benefits.”