Republican enthusiasm increasing, Democrat enthusiasm decreasing in White House race

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," July 26, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, Republicans now -- did you see this latest development?




CAVUTO: OK, not really, but a new poll does find that Republicans are getting generally more jazzed about this presidential race than Democrats. Fifty-one percent, they are more enthusiastic. And that compares to 35 percent of Republicans who felt the same way four years ago. But are Republicans getting all excited about this guy or just getting rid of this guy?

Pollster Chris Wilson. Chris, what is the deal?

CHRIS WILSON, CEO, WILSON RESEARCH STRATEGIES, INC.: Well, you see Democrat enthusiasm decreasing.

You look at it in 2000, it was at 68 percent. In 2008, it was at 69 percent. And now, it's down to 39 percent, according to Gallup's numbers. And there -- is Democrat enthusiasm is decreasing, Republican enthusiasm is increasing.

And I think, though, the excitement about Romney is sort of like the song girls all get prettier at closing times. As we closer to Election Day, the nominee gets more attractive.

And when we look back during the election, his favorability was at 60 percent. In May, it was 70 percent. Today, it's 85 percent. You really look for a Republican nominee to be at about 90 percent with his own party or a Democrat with his own party.

And so now that see it's getting closer to that, Romney will not get any more than nine out of 10 Republican votes anyway. So I do think there is enthusiasm around him and there is. But there is also a strong amount, historic amount animosity toward Barack Obama, more than we have seen Democrats have toward George W. Bush, more than we have ever seen Republicans have toward a Democratic president.

And those factors all mix together to get the sort of enthusiasm numbers that you are seeing.

CAVUTO: Chris, by the way, be very careful judging guys who wait around the bars very late hoping someone finds them attractive. I was that guy.

WILSON: That's why I pointed out it was a song and not...


CAVUTO: I hear you. I hear you.

But, you know, Chris, I'm wondering, in 1980, if memory serves me right, there was obviously not a great deal of enthusiasm for Jimmy Carter, but even among moderate Republicans at the time, there was still a lot of angst about this conservative Ronald Reagan who had sort of taken over the Republican Party, and many had considerable angst about that and him.

Now, he alleviated those concerns as time went on, but I guess they felt so angry at Jimmy Carter, that they buried that, and just said, all right, Ronnie, we are with you.

Do you see any inclination of that here and now with Mitt Romney?

WILSON: Even more so.

You look at Carter's numbers with Republicans in 1980 -- and I looked them up -- were 24 percent. He was at 24 percent favorable with Republicans. Barack Obama is only at 10 percent favorable with Republicans. And so you look at that difference and the animosity that is felt toward Obama...

CAVUTO: That is all Republicans? That's all Republicans, not conservative, all Republicans?

WILSON: That's right.

CAVUTO: Interesting.

WILSON: It's all Republicans. Gallup poll didn't really break it down by ideology going back into the '80s.

But so I think your point is right on, but even I would amplify it to say that what -- the feelings toward President Obama are so intense for Republicans that even they magnify even what has gone on with Democrats toward Bush in '84 (sic), toward even what happened towards George H.W. Bush in '92, whenever he was lost. He was still at 22 favorable with Democrats back then.

So, what we are seeing is historic feelings towards an incumbent president that, really, you could go back to 1968. Republican numbers towards LBJ were even not in this range.

And so the feelings that exist -- and I think that's -- you see the same sort of numbers impacting Democrat enthusiasm about the election. It's why Republicans took over Congress in 2010. I think it is why Republicans have a great chance of taking over the Senate in 2012. And I think that gives Obama the opportunity, he can look at something and say, wow, I really did build this. It will just be a Republican Senate, not a small business.

CAVUTO: We will watch closely. Chris, thank you very much, Chris Wilson in Palo Alto, California.

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