Just a short diary about that enthusiasm gap. I live in a first-ring suburb of Cleveland, and I just got home from our annual community festival. The festival is held on one of our parks. and is exactly what the name implies. Churches have booths and sell what we lovingly call "church lady" food -- and when the churches range from Romanian to Korean, there are some wonderful goodies to be had. The Kiwanis group sells candy bars. The PTA gives away coloring books. You can pick up chip clips and yard sticks and re-usuable tote bags. I even got a wooden harmonica for my daughter. For entertainment local bands set up on the tennis courts, and area dance groups perform. There is a lot of polka music. (And this year -- a harmonica group.)
The festival had to be postponed from last weekend because of the weather, so it was a little smaller than usual. Still, there were plenty of local business and groups with booths. The local Democratic group was there, with yard signs for Obama, Sherrod Brown. and our state rep, Nikki Antonio. (I imagine you'll hear about her nationally some time soon. She rocks out loud.) Half a dozen or so volunteers were at the booth, cheerfully handing out the usual stickers and flyers and such. Nothing very extraordinary.
What was surprising, though, was that there was no GOP booth. No presence at all. I might have missed them, but I walked through the whole park and looked and couldn't find them. Now i get that Cuyahoga County is pretty solidly blue, and the rain date may have kept down participation, but seriously ... they didn't show up. Not for Romney, not for the state-wide races, not for the local races. They didn't show up.
They didn't show up at all.