John King, USA

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September 17th, 2010
02:20 PM ET

Who’s Fired Up and Ready to Go?

And What do “Busboys” Have to do With It?

With just over six weeks until the midterm elections, Republicans clearly are “fired up.”  A Curtis Gans nationwide study of voter turnout in 35 primaries held before September 1 shows the average percentage of citizens who voted in Republican primaries was the highest since 1970.  At the same time, the Democratic percentage was the lowest ever.  The report says, “The average Republican vote for statewide offices (U.S. Senator and Governor) in the primaries held through August 28 exceeded the Democratic vote,” and notes that hasn’t happened in the midterm primaries since 1930!

Can anything get Democratic voters excited?

On CNN’s John King USA, James Carville revealed some of his fellow Democratic strategists had an idea. (He calls these strategists “busboys” because they want to take all the current campaign issues off the table, just like busboys who clear tables at a restaurant.)

“Take everything off the table. Take it off the table,” said Carville, mimicking the “busboys” argument, “Let's appoint Elizabeth Warren and that will get everybody excited. Oh, yes! A new consumer protection agency! She is a great woman!  Really behind us!  She will do a great job!”  Carville says the “busboys” believe Warren’s appointment will drive Democratic voters and get turnout cranked up.

Warren got the job today. Be sure to tune in tonight at 7pm ET, John’s going one-on-one with her. But will her appointment drive-up Democratic enthusiasm?

“I'm not too sure,” says Carville, “I don't think that's going to work.”  Carville’s bottom line: Democrats need more issues and more conflict to drive up voter enthusiasm.  “We need waiters to put things on the table. Not busboys to take things off.”

We’ll see.

- CNN Senior Writer Joe Von Kanel

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