Obama closes enthusiasm gap with Romney after conventions

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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In the aftermath of the Democratic National Convention, President Barack Obama got a bounce in the polls and his base got a kick in the pants, helping him to close the enthusiasm gap with Mitt Romney.

According to a Fox News poll of 1,056 likely voters released Wednesday, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have extended their lead over Romney and his running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, from one point to five points.

The Democratic ticket now leads 48 percent to 43 percent among likely voters. Last month (when vice presidential candidates were not included in the polling question), Romney led Obama 45-44.

Among registered voters, Obama has widened his lead from 44-42 to 46-42.

But the conventions also appear to have energized the Democratic base to a level as yet unseen.

When Fox News last polled the race in August, shortly after Romney’s announcement of Ryan as his running mate, Republicans were much more enthusiastic than Democrats.

Asked in August how important it was that the candidate they supported won the election, 64 percent of Romney supporters called it extremely important, compared to just 54 percent of Obama supporters. Thirty-seven percent of Obama supporters called it “very important,” as did 28 percent of Romney supporters.

But in the days following the convention – Fox News polled from Sept. 9 through Sept. 11 – 62 percent of Obama supporters said it was “extremely important” that the president be re-elected. The percentage of Romney supporters saying his victory was “extremely important” didn’t budge.

The latest numbers suggest that Obama supporters were excited enough by the Democratic convention to help close the enthusiasm gap that has existed for several months.

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