Do Republicans have an advantage this election cycle due to enthusiasm? Some polls and long-time strategists say yes.
Appearing with Anderson Cooper over the weekend to discuss the Democratic primary in South Carolina, Paul Begala, one of the architects of Bill Clinton's success, told Cooper there is a distinct enthusiasm gap between Democrats and Republicans.
"There is," Begala responded, "and that keeps me up at night."
"It does…" Cooper said, seeming to ask Begala to confirm.
"Oh, man," Begala said, shaking his head. "We’re not on the air are we...?" he said as fellow panelists laughed.
"The enthusiasm gap is really serious. I saw a survey a few weeks ago. Seventy-one percent of conservatives say they’re excited about this election. Seventy one!"
Compared to a key part of the Democratic coalition, that number is very high, Begala went on to say.
"Only 40% of millennials — a heart, one big part of the Democratic base. So there’s a 30-point gap between my party’s best voters and Republicans’ best voters."
Begala tried to recover by saying that Democrats are doing their best to reach out to their base and engage young voters but his best example was Bernie Sanders being popular with young voters. There is a good chance that Sanders could be knocked out of the race after Super Tuesday