Gallup is currently reporting that Republicans are more actively engaged in the 2012 campaign than Democrats. According to Gallup:
“Thought given to the election” is one of Gallup’s “likely voter” questions, and is a predictor of voter turnout. The current data, from a July 19-22 USA Today/Gallup poll, would suggest that voter turnout among the voting-age population will be lower in 2012 than it was in 2004 (55%) and 2008 (57%), but higher than in the 2000 election (51%).The percentage of Americans thinking about the election typically increases over the course of the campaign; thus, more Americans should be paying attention to the election during the party conventions, debates, and final push to Election Day.
Currently, Republicans are significantly more likely than Democrats to say they are thinking a lot about the election.
In most prior election campaigns, Republicans have typically paid a higher level of attention to the election than Democrats. However, the current 13-point Republican advantage is larger than Gallup has measured in recent presidential election years.
Gallup’s concludes that at this point, Republicans can count on a higher turnout than Democrats:(bolding is mine)
Americans are not as engaged in the 2012 election as they were in the 2004 and 2008 elections at similar points in the campaign, but they do seem to pay more attention to election campaigns than to most news stories.
Republicans currently are more highly engaged in the campaign than Democrats. If that persists, it suggests Republican turnout may be much stronger than Democratic turnout. However, Democrats may not have had as much reason to tune in to the campaign yet, given that most of the news has centered on the Republican nomination. Thought given to the election in September, after the party conventions are held, and in the final stretch of the campaign in October will give a better indication of potential turnout among party groups.
It should be noted that this poll was taken between July 19-22, which was about three weeks before Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney chose Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate.