I've seen at least two recent stories about voter enthusiams along these lines:
CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll: Presidential race tight in Florida - Sep 24, 2004: "The poll also found that Republicans in the Sunshine State were more enthusiastic about voting this year than Democrats..."
At the same time, Ruy Teixeira on Donkey Rising has been reporting a the seeming error in the Gallup polls. It seems Gallup is assuming a greater Republican turnout than Democrat--at odds with recent history--which is skewing their numbers significantly toward Bush. Is this a case of Gallup generating a self-justification? Or did they figure out early on something nobody else saw?
My gut tells me Repubs could not possibly be more energized than Dems. My gut's been wrong before. But Dems have never exhibited the tendency to line up four-square behind their candidate. You're far more likely to find a self-described Dem explain away their choice as "the best of the worst" than you will a self-described Repub. But my perception is that this has nothing to do with the candidate, and everything to do with being a Democrat. In supporting a candidate, there's always a necessary element of self-delusion that doesn't seem to come as easily to the average Democrat. Or maybe its more accurate to say this is the public perception, which perhaps becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.