Two states reveal the realities of the 2014 election ‘enthusiasm gap’

Senator Mark Udall joined Sandy Gutierrez (to his left), the president and CEO of the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Pueblo, at a Senate Democratic Hispanic Task Force meeting in Washington, D.C., to talk about innovative ways to encourage job growth acros

There is some evidence to suggest Mark Udall’s defeat can be chalked up, in part, to a far bigger dip in midterm turnout for Colorado Democrats when compared with the GOP.

As the holiday season moved along, election officials nationwide completed the process of declaring official the results of the 2014 midterm election cycle. On the whole, of course, said cycle was a tremendous disappointment for Democrats, who saw control of the United States Senate wrested from their grasp, as well as reduced numbers in the U.S. House.

At the state level, a disappointing evening in the battle over the three dozen governorships (Democrats had long been favored to hold serve, if not pick off one to three seats) culminated in the fewest number of Democratic governors in over a decade. Meanwhile, the blue team also took a substantial hit at the state legislative level, where several chambers were flipped in the direction of the GOP and the GOP made at least nominal gains in all but a handful of legislatures.

In the postmortem, one of the articles of faith among those trying to divine what went wrong for the Democrats was that flagging base turnout bore at least some of the blame for the outcome. As we now have more data to peruse (with, surely, more to come), the numbers provide some fairly compelling evidence for that thesis.

Even in states with comparably decent turnout, Democratic turnout seems to have tanked in comparison to their GOP foes. In states where turnout flagged, that characteristic was positively glaring. Head beyond the fold to look at two representative states (Colorado and Nevada), and a look at the D/R voting chasm that took place two short months ago.

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