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Study: GOP More Optimistic On Midterm Elections Than Democrats

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File photo of a person voting. (Credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a person voting. (Credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) - A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center indicates that Republicans are viewing the 2014 midterm elections with more optimism than Democrats.

The majority of Republicans – 55 percent – feel their party will fare better than it has in recent elections, while 43 percent of Democrats felt the same way about representatives from their side of the aisle.

Additionally, Republicans are more excited about next year’s elections.

“The overall level of voter enthusiasm for the midterms is about the same today as it was at a comparably early point in the 2010 campaign,” a release on the poll’s findings noted. “About half (49 percent) of registered voters say they are very enthusiastic about voting in next year’s elections, 29 percent say they are somewhat enthusiastic and 19 percent say they are not too or not at all enthusiastic.”

The release continued, “Republicans hold a modest enthusiasm advantage: 53 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters say they are very enthusiastic about voting, compared with 47 percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners.”

The poll does, however, indicate a decrease in confidence for Republicans from 2010, when 72 percent of Republicans believed their party would come out on top of that year’s midterm elections. Meanwhile, more Democrats were positive on the matter than before, when only 29 percent felt they would do better than they had in recent elections.

The study was released as several states continue to tweak their respective election laws in courtrooms throughout the nation.

A federal judge will hear arguments Friday in the lawsuit filed by Kansas and Arizona requesting the national voter registration form be changed so that the two states can fully enforce proof-of-citizenship requirements for new voters ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Arizona counterpart Ken Bennett want the federal court to order the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to include instructions on the federal form that would require Kansas and Arizona residents to provide a birth certificate, passport or other proof of U.S. citizenship when registering to vote.

Kobach has pushed the proof-of-citizenship policy as a way to prevent non-citizens — particularly immigrants living in the U.S. without legal permission — from registering and possibly voting.

The U.S. Justice Department, which is representing the election commission, has argued that changing the requirements on the federal form for residents of Kansas and Arizona would in essence affect nationwide policy because it might encourage every state to seek increased proof of citizenship in order to register for federal elections.

The current federal registration form requires only that someone sign a statement that he or she is a U.S. citizen.

The poll, a collaborative effort between Pew and USA Today, was conducted between Dec. 3 and Dec. 8. A total of 2,001 American adults were randomly selected for participation.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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