Abstract: In the run up to the 2010 midterms, pundits and politicos often talked of an “enthusiasm gap ” between Republicans and Democrats. While conventional treatments have typically equated such gaps with changes in turnout and the composition of the electorate, we argue that the term is perhaps more apt in describing the participatory patterns of highly engaged voters. Using multiple data sources, including a geo-coded, county-wide study tracking yard sign displays between 2008 and 2010, we examine the visible evidence of enthusiasm gaps in voters ’ neighborhoods. Our findings jell with recent narratives, yet suggest that scholars have missed important dimensions in their examinations of these “wave ” elections. Biographical note
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