Democrats are significantly more enthusiastic than Republicans to cast ballots in the 2018 midterm elections, according to a survey of registered voters released Thursday by the left-leaning Public Policy Polling.
Sixty-three percent of Democratic registered voters said they are "very excited" to vote next year, compared to only 52 percent of Republicans, the poll found. The gap grows even more pronounced among the voters most excited to cast their ballots for House races — 57 percent among Democrats and 38 percent among Republicans.
GOP registered voters lead Democrats in the percentage who are "somewhat excited" to vote or "not that excited" to vote.
The poll comes on the heels of tight special House races in conservative districts in Kansas and Georgia.
In Kansas' 4th District, a deep-red district typically considered safe for the GOP, Republican House candidate Ron Estes narrowly beat out James Thompson last week to fill the seat vacated by now-CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
And on Tuesday, Democrat Jon Ossoff came close to an outright win in Georgia's 6th District House election, a race Democrats painted as an early referendum on the Trump administration. Because no candidate received at least 50 percent of the vote, Ossoff will face Republican Karen Handel in a June runoff.
While the low enthusiasm among Republican registered voters is, in part, the result of Trump's low popularity, the PPP poll also highlighted concerns for House Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanFive fights for Trump’s first year Sunday shows preview: Trump stares down 100-day mark Ryan: Focus is on keeping government open, not healthcare MORE (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellFive fights for Trump’s first year Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road AACR’s march on Washington MORE (R-Ky.). Ryan's approval rating sits at only 30 percent, while McConnell's comes in even lower at 24 percent, according to the poll.
“A lot of attention gets paid to how unpopular Donald TrumpDonald TrumpIssa dodges when asked if he wants Trump to campaign alongside him Trump's infrastructure plan can mean jobs, jobs, jobs ... and security OMB director: Government shutdown not a 'desired end' MORE is,” PPP President Dean Debnam said in a news release. “But Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have even lower poll numbers. That’s another reason why Democrats are looking well positioned for next year.”
The poll surveyed 648 registered voters from April 17-18 and has a margin of error of 3.9 percent.