Voters are sometimes unhappy with a party’s candidate choice (or both parties’ choices). For the 2010 midterm elections, the energy of the “tea party” movement created an “enthusiasm gap” between Republicans and Democrats. Democrat Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell said in October 2010: “There’s an old maxim on politics, a tepid vote counts exactly the same as a wildly enthusiastic vote. Let’s keep the Congress.”
The political maxim dates to at least this statement in 1955: “It is true that a halfhearted vote counts just as much as does an enthusiastic vote in an election.” In 1968, the Democrat were unenthusiastic after the death of Robert F. Kennedy and this was written: “An unenthusiastic vote counts as much as an enthusiastic one.”
American Democracy in Theory and Practice;
National, State, and Local Government
By Robert Kenneth Carr, et al.
New York, NY: Rinehart
It is true that a halfhearted vote counts just as much as does an enthusiastic vote in an election.
2 November 1962, New York (NY) Times, “G.O.P. is hopeful of gains in city” by Leo Egan, pg. 20:
The Republican answer to this is that an unenthusiastic Rocltefeller vote counts just as much as an enthusiastic vote when recorded on a voting machine.
Conferences on Statistics
1962 & 1963
By Canadian Political Science Association
Toronto: University of Toronto Press
However, voting is a unitary phenomenon. An enthusiastic vote counts for no more than a reluctant vote.
5 November 1968, Uniontown (PA) Morning Herald, “Victor Reisel Reveals: Inside The Labor Front,” pg. 4, col. 4:
An unenthusiastic vote counts as much as an enthusiastic one.
27 October 2002, Baltimore (MD) Sun, “Election 2002” by David Nitkin, pg. 1F:
“An enthusiastic vote and an unenthusiastic vote counts the same,” said Del. Cheryl C. Kagan, a Montgomery County Democrat and campaign consultant.
Harmony Central Forums
11-06-2007, 08:57 AM
PEople are confusing enthusiasm with numbers. RP has the most loyal base I have seen for a candidate in years. Nobody was this fired up about Kerry, or Jimmy carter or whoever. Problem is, enthusiasm doesn’t equal votes. It generates volunteers, it generates donations, and this can stimulate votes from others, but it is not the same thing as votes. In the end a tepid Huckabee/Thompson/Giuliani/whoever vote counts just as much as an enthusiastic vote for RP. And it would appear there are way more of these tepid votes for others.
The Cranky Conservative
February 7, 2008
That I would do so grudgingly is meaningless – a grudging vote counts equally to a fully enthusiastic vote.
The Mirthful Misanthrope
Friday, February 8, 2008
February 8th 2008 - Today’s Columns:
John Hawkins : There’s Nothing Conservative Or Principled About Helping A Democrat Beat John McCain In November - The problem with this argument and so many like it we’ve all been reading lately is that it attempts to make the choice the lesser of two evils. There is a chance to win in a race between to evils by having the lesser of them. However, the other side doesn’t think their candidate is evil. Therefore they have all the energy and enthusiasm. Now I know that a non-enthusiastic vote counts just as much as an enthusiastic one. But does anyone truly believe that a Presidential candidate can win without enthusiastic support from his base? My point with regard to McCain is that with him as the nominee, we’ve already forfeited. So there is no point to me compromising my principles to vote for him. It wouldn’t make a difference. And I certainly won’t feel better about myself on November 5th when I read that McCain lost by an historic landslide minus 1.
Oct. 3, 2010
Rendell: Dems Don’t Mislead Like Tea Party
Pa. Gov Says Dems Don’t Talk About Death Panels: “Ours Is a Complex Message”
By Jimmy So
Rendell wasn’t worried about pumping up the liberal base and getting them to catch up with how enthusiastic the Tea Party is.
“Remember, there’s an old political adage. All we have to do is get them to the polls, because a tepid vote counts the same as a wildly enthusiastic vote,” Rendell said.
Ed Rendell to left on MSNBC: ‘Get over it’
By ANDY BARR | 10/5/10 12:44 PM EDT Updated: 10/6/10 4:51 AM EDT
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell says discouraged liberals need to “get over it” and support the Democratic Party, before they regret it.
“We need to all of us get over it, get out to vote, even if there’s not a wildly enthusiastic vote,” Rendell added. “There’s an old maxim on politics, a tepid vote counts exactly the same as a wildly enthusiastic vote. Let’s keep the Congress.”
Tea Party fuels Republican edge in enthusiasm
By Jim Acosta, CNN
October 11, 2010 1:32 p.m. EDT
Brushing off the “enthusiasm gap,” Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell told CNN, “Democratic voters aren’t as wildly enthusiastic as the tea partiers are and there’s no question about that. But remember, there’s an age-old adage that a tepid vote counts the same as a wildly enthusiastic vote.”
New York City • Government/Law/Politics • (0) Comments • Tuesday, October 12, 2010 • Permalink