The Washington Times - October 17, 2011, 03:20PM

Republicans seem far more excited to vote in next year’s presidential elections than Democrats are, suggesting the same sort of enthusiasm gap that pushed the GOP to big gains in the 2010 elections.

The numbers were part of the latest CNN-ORC International poll that found 62 percent of self-identified Republicans were extremely or very enthusiastic about voting for president, while only 48 percent of Democrats said the same thing.

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Independents, meanwhile, are the least eager, with just 39 percent saying they’re excited to vote, and a whopping 21 percent saying they’re “not at all enthusiastic.”

Faced with reports of faltering support among Democrats, Mr. Obama’s backers have insisted he will win the overwhelming majority of their votes next year, and the CNN poll found that Democrats do overwhelmingly want the president renominated. Republicans, meanwhile, remain less satisfied with their choices for nominee.

But the enthusiasm gap suggests that the GOP’s voters are more motivated to actually turn out next year, which could hurt Mr. Obama if the vote is tight.