The results of a USAToday/Gallup survey of thousands of registered voters in Barack Obama’s twelve must-have states presents bad news for him and his party. However, true to form for the Democrat-boosting media, the worst of the news was buried. Initial online versions left out critical portions of the story, and the truth was only available in the newsstand version of the article.

The survey showed Republicans are more engaged in following the issues of next year’s election than Democrats by a stunning 20 points (68 percent to 48 percent).

As new party registration data underscore, voters are turning away from the Democrats in these swing states.  Since 2008, those identifying as Democrats has shrunk by four points, and those declaring themselves  Republicans has risen five points. Even if everything else were equal, this factor alone could spell doom or Obama.

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Nevertheless, the really bad news is the level of enthusiasm being expressed by various voting groups towards next year’s election. This “enthusiasm index” is toxic for Obama. Each year since 2006, including this past November’s handful of local elections, the enthusiasm index has pointed to the eventual electoral outcomes.

Among 18-to-34 year-olds just 32 percent are enthused about voting (50 percent voted in 2008, two-thirds of them for Obama).

The worst news was among “non-whites” (read: blacks), which stood at only 31 percent. Black enthusiasm is 34 points under its 2008 level, less than half of the 65 percent enthusiasm level black voters showed when 97 percent voted for Obama.

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Republican seniors, who are the most conservative voting bloc, (and double the size of the liberal voting bloc) are the most enthusiastic voting group.

The lack of enthusiasm among these two groups presents a difficult, if not impossible, obstacle for Obama to overcome. In the case of blacks, Barack Obama can go into high gear on the campaign trail, but improving their enthusiasm to vote by 34 points? Turning that gap around in 10 months will not be possible.

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