Gallup: Party affiliation gap narrows to one point

posted at 9:30 am on April 23, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Call it hope and change, 2010 midterms style — or maybe Teapocalypse.  Republicans managed to preserve a majority in both chambers of Congress and re-elect a President in 2004 while trailing in party identification by three points in the annual Gallup survey.  How will they do while trailing by a single point in 2010?

The advantage in public support the Democratic Party built up during the latter part of the Bush administration and the early part of the Obama administration has all but disappeared. During the first quarter of 2010, 46% of Americans identified as Democrats or leaned Democratic, while 45% identified as or leaned Republican.

The latest results, based on aggregated data from Gallup polls conducted from January to March of this year, show the closest party division since the first quarter of 2005, when the parties were tied at 46%. Democrats enjoyed double-digit advantages in party support in 11 of 12 quarters from the second quarter of 2006 to the first quarter of 2009.

By the end of last year, the Democratic advantage had shrunk to five points (47% to 42%), and it narrowed further in the most recent quarter.

The news isn’t all good for Republicans, however:

The six-point rise in Republican support since the first quarter of 2009 is due entirely to a growing proportion of independents who lean to the Republican Party, rather than an increase in the percentage of Americans who identify as Republicans outright. (Gallup measures party identification by first asking Americans whether they identify as Republicans, Democrats, or independents. Those who are independent or express no party preference are then asked whether they lean more toward the Democratic or the Republican Party.)

In fact, the 28% of Americans who initially identify as Republicans today is identical to the figure Gallup measured in early 2009, when the Democrats still had a double-digit advantage in support. Since then, there has been a three-point reduction in the proportion of Democratic identifiers, and a three-point decline in the percentage of Democratic-leaning independents.

Democrats have lost almost all of a 13-point gap among all adults in just a year — a number that was already inflated in favor of Democrats.  After all, the gap Gallup detected in 2008 was actually fourteen points, but Barack Obama won office by just half of that number in the national popular vote.  That counted a great deal of independent support as well as some limited Republican voter crossover, too. Independents are now crossing back over the other way, which will make the midterms a lonely ride for Democrats.

That would tend to indicate that in practical terms, GOP identification has already surpassed the Democrats.  Rasmussen’s last poll in March put the GOP down by less than 3 points, and that was before the passage of ObamaCare.  This survey indicates that rather than seeing a bump for getting their health-care overhaul passed into law, Democrats may have instead thrown gasoline on a fire that was already burning out of control.

What will media pollsters do now?  Surveys from NBC, the Washington Post and ABC, and CBS routinely feature wide partisan gaps favoring Democrats in their sampling, although CBS appears to have tried lately to fix that problem.  This is just another piece of evidence to use to expose inherent bias in some media polling, unless they start cleaning up their acts.


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The KOOL_AID AFFECT!!

canopfor on April 23, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Only 1 point!!

The Hopey/Changey Deception/Perception OnGoing
NeverEnding Campaign!!!!

canopfor on April 23, 2010 at 9:34 AM

How many times is the Media going to look like total slobbering buffoons in favor of this imbicile in office before the self-preservation kicks in and they abandon the sinking ship?

JamesLee on April 23, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Teapocalypse.

Excellent wording,Capt’n ED:)

canopfor on April 23, 2010 at 9:35 AM

Teapocalypse! Nice!
Can we get the Halo voice over dude to say that?

Darksean on April 23, 2010 at 9:36 AM

If Republicans don’t take back control of Congress in November, our country will officially tilt towards Socialism. The mask has been off the Progressive’s for a long enough period of time for all to see what this movement is really all about. If the citizens of America fail to throw Progressive’s out on their butts, then the citizens must be just fine with socialism. I don’t know any other way to view this.

New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts lead me to believe the people see things clearly, and will vote accordingly. I can only pray for my country and cast my vote come November.

Keemo on April 23, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Ed, you’re a master at deciphering this stuff. Good job.

ted c on April 23, 2010 at 9:38 AM

The news isn’t all good for Republicans, however:

Good. I once would have identified myself as a Republican, but never again. No worries. I’ll vote for the (R)s this time, but I’ll be watching like a hawk after the election. I trust them as far as I can throw the Brooklyn bridge.

ElectricPhase on April 23, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Racists are are the rise

/

faraway on April 23, 2010 at 9:40 AM

“You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but…”

petefrt on April 23, 2010 at 9:41 AM

How many times is the Media going to look like total slobbering buffoons in favor of this imbicile in office before the self-preservation kicks in and they abandon the sinking ship?

JamesLee on April 23, 2010 at 9:34 AM

When he!! freezes over and the devil starts selling ice skates…me thinks

sicoit on April 23, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Are they going to keep running other polls with a 10% party ID gap in the sample?

forest on April 23, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Teapocalypse! Nice!
Can we get the Halo Geico voice over dude to say that?
– Darksean

Probably never hahaha :-)

Tony737 on April 23, 2010 at 9:44 AM

Good. I once would have identified myself as a Republican, but never again. No worries. I’ll vote for the (R)s this time, but I’ll be watching like a hawk after the election. I trust them as far as I can throw the Brooklyn bridge.

ElectricPhase on April 23, 2010 at 9:40 AM

A post many of use could have written…the Republican’s are better, but doesn’t mean best.

right2bright on April 23, 2010 at 9:45 AM

You gotta like the trend lines. And the demonRats don’t seem to be changing course, more like doubling down. Adding the Blago trial to their legislative agenda, I don’t see this changing anytime soon.

Remember in November!

2ipa on April 23, 2010 at 9:45 AM

ElectricPhase on April 23, 2010 at 9:40 AM

I’m with you on that one. There are some good Conservative’s in the party right now; but far too many RINO’s still remain. The better of two evils is not what our country needs. I can only hope and pray for strict Conservative candidates and many victories in the upcoming elections.

We must get to the bottom of the corruption that takes place in DC. Far to easy to purchase our politicians, and far to expensive to run a campaign these days. Our politicians should be forced to run their campaign strictly on the issues rather than the politics of personal assassination. Jeez, even the children of our candidates are now in play. When politicians reach this level of evil, they should be disqualified immediately.

Keemo on April 23, 2010 at 9:47 AM

I don’t buy the 1% gap. I’m betting dollars to donuts, Republicans are ahead at this point. Gallup is just trying to find even the tiniest smidge of support for Dems. I think we can pretty much say the Dems screwed themselves, and the polls show it. Skewed, or not.

capejasmine on April 23, 2010 at 9:53 AM

I don’t buy the 1% gap.

capejasmine on April 23, 2010 at 9:53 AM

capejasmine: Sounds just like Team Hopeys
unemployment numbers!!:)

canopfor on April 23, 2010 at 9:58 AM

How many times is the Media going to look like total slobbering buffoons in favor of this imbicile in office before the self-preservation kicks in and they abandon the sinking ship?

JamesLee on April 23, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Self-preservation doesn’t need to kick in since they live in the star system Hopium in the galaxy of Changium and the emperor most high is the “Won”

chemman on April 23, 2010 at 10:06 AM

I’m with you on that one. There are some good Conservative’s in the party right now; but far too many RINO’s still remain.

Keemo on April 23, 2010 at 9:47 AM

That’s on you. And the rest of us.

If you really want the republican party to be better, more conservative, more smaller government, etc., YOU need to join the party and become active. YOU need to work at the grassroots level, YOU need to find and support conservative candidates.

This idea that you can just sit back on your a$$ and “punish” the GOP when it doesn’t perform to your expectations is pure BS, and is exactly why we are suffering under the 0bama regime.

Rebar on April 23, 2010 at 10:08 AM

I do a lot of blogging on sites frequented mainly by under 35′s. There is still quite a lot of support for Obama and the Democrats in that group. I don’t think they have realized yet that they will be saddled by the debt and problems that Obama will have caused.

Is there any hope for the Gen Ys and younger?

Crux Australis on April 23, 2010 at 10:12 AM

After 80+ years of democrats dominating our politics we see what they’re capable of now that they’ve gotten total control and power. Republicans can’t rest on their laurels and need to get out of the congressional “good old boy” club mentality and start identifying more with the people now that it’s obvious what sanctimonious elitists and corruptocrats the democrats are. And when the democrat party is “wounded” like they’re going to be in the next election cycle they don’t care how low they stoop to steal elections and will pull out corpses, acorn-forged ballots, homeless park bench votes, they’re corruption knows no bounds. Get ready for a very rocky ride. And if as is predicted the republicans get back a majority, they better not fall into the same trap they did in the’90s. Obama has to go in 2012 or we’ll be stuck with another Clinton/democrat sabotage and bulldozing.

mozalf on April 23, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Gallup doing their part. What’s new with that? Polls are used to manipulate, even more so with the Obama-commie regime.

Liars flock together … You don’t take this seriously do you Ed?

tarpon on April 23, 2010 at 10:19 AM

Democrats have lost almost all of a 13-point gap among all adults in just a year — a number that was already inflated in favor of Democrats. After all, the gap Gallup detected in 2008 was actually fourteen points, but Barack Obama won office by just half of that number in the national popular vote

–This Gallup poll measures identification by a sample of all Americans, not registered or likely voters. The gap you’re talking about (14% net difference between the US generally vs. 7% net gap in actual voters) is the gap between all voters and actual voters.

Jimbo3 on April 23, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Obama is growing the government dependent class at breakneck speed. Once a tipping point is reached by a combination of welfare dependency and government bureaucracy job dependency, those people will all vote for their paymasters.

The race is on. Can we stop the explosion of government dependency before it’s too late? If not, a dependent majority will be locked in place and our free enterprize system will be put on the ash heap of history.

saiga on April 23, 2010 at 10:22 AM

When I flip to Jon Stewart from time to time, I am really disturbed at the kind of things he says that envoke great applause.

If these people represent the future mindset of our general population, we are toast. I just can’t get my mind around what they think they will get as a result of these poisonous policies. They seem hell bent on killing the geese laying the golden eggs.

Money is the fuel that drives the economy. Eliminate the incentives to work, be productive, and generate profits, and you only end up screwing yourself.

It seems so clear to me that I can’t understand which part of that they don’t get.

saiga on April 23, 2010 at 10:30 AM

read Democrats At The Edge Of The Cliff — http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704133804575198290459062592.html

tarpon on April 23, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Rasmussen’s last poll in March put the GOP down by less than 3 points, and that was before the passage of ObamaCare.

I love you Ed, but you missed a golden opportunity.

Like unemployment, the actual numbers and overall trend are irrelevant. Without Obamacare the situation would be much worse. By my calculations (using the 101% accurate Obama Rectal Retrieval method) the gap would be 20% – 56% R to 35% D. It is obvious that Obamacare has saved or created a 21% swing.

Onus on April 23, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Teacopolypse!

Tim_CA on April 23, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Teapocalyspe Now

A movie where the DNC sends someone up the Potomac river to take out a commander who has let the power go to his head.

“Do you think my methods are unsound?”
“I don’t see any method, sir.”

Kafir on April 23, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Boy, I would love to see those numbers broken down by state. I’m guessing people in states where the economy is still decent are more willing to ID as Democrats. I’ll bet Republicans are ahead, and substantially, in places like Pennsylvania and Indiana where there will be important races for Senator and Governor and many Democratic House seats up for grabs.

Independent voters in my district broke heavily for the Democrat in Senate and House races in 2006 and 2008. I think they will break just as heavily for the Republicans this year.

rockmom on April 23, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Problem is, the Republican Party, under George Bush, CAVED to Nazi Pelosi’s Socialist Party to increase spending beyond the country’s ability to pay.

If the Republican Party cannot or will not start creating legislation to remove extraneous Executive Branch Department (eg. Department of Education, HHS, etc.) we won’t be any better off. This country can no longer afford services being pushed out of the Washington Fever Swamps. Republican’s have one, count it ONE, last chance to fix the problems.

If not, the TEA Party Express may well run over them as well.

SeniorD on April 23, 2010 at 11:08 AM

I love “teapocalypse.”

disa on April 23, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Problem is, the Republican Party, under George Bush, CAVED to Nazi Pelosi’s Socialist Party to increase spending beyond the country’s ability to pay.

[....]

Republicans have one, count it ONE, last chance to fix the problems.

If not, the TEA Party Express may well run over them as well.

SeniorD on April 23, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Bush was no conservative, that’s a fact. And I think you’re right – if Repubs blow it this fall, it’s sayonara for America and the R’s.

disa on April 23, 2010 at 11:15 AM

What will media pollsters do now?

Inform Washington they’re running out of time to pass historic legislation.

LastRick on April 23, 2010 at 11:15 AM

When I flip to Jon Stewart from time to time, I am really disturbed at the kind of things he says that envoke great applause.

saiga on April 23, 2010 at 10:30 AM

I can’t even watch Jon Stewart anymore. I yell at him/the TV:
“WTF is wrong with you, are you utterly bereft of any brains?”

disa on April 23, 2010 at 11:17 AM

That counted a great deal of independent support as well as some limited Republican voter crossover, too.

YOU, all of YOU, are single-handedly accountable for the destruction of this country. We’re dancing on that pivot, NOW.

Independents are now crossing back over the other way, which will make the midterms a lonely ride for Democrats.

YOU can save yourselves, your kids, grandkids, and those of all the others, by saving our land this Nov. If you do, we’ll make it, hardly; if you don’t, suffer, all of us. In the latter case we’ll deserve all that is coming our way, slow and not so slow end to life as we knew it – in the greatest experiment in human history, ever.

Schadenfreude on April 23, 2010 at 11:26 AM

Teapocalypse

Trademark it.

antisocial on April 23, 2010 at 11:31 AM

What will media pollsters do now?

Ignore and get away with it.

Cindy Munford on April 23, 2010 at 11:38 AM

How many times is the Media going to look like total slobbering buffoons in favor of this imbicile in office before the self-preservation kicks in and they abandon the sinking ship?

JamesLee on April 23, 2010 at 9:34 AM

I think they will go down with the ship rather than admit they were wrong. I don’t even think they believe they were wrong about him.

silvernana on April 23, 2010 at 11:55 AM

There is a special place in hell for people who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.

Governor Chris Christie on Imus In The Morning. New Jersey’s Teacher’s Union Needs To Chill.

He’s doing his best to reign in spending although folks don’t get that things are hard all over New Jersey they have 10% unemployment.

Dr Evil on April 23, 2010 at 12:29 PM

That chart looks like Democrats have the monopoly on the Bandwagon.

uknowmorethanme on April 23, 2010 at 12:32 PM

How can anyone consider them-self a Republican and vote for the second coming of Jimmy “Jihad” Carter.

Keef Overbite on April 23, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Is there any hope for the Gen Ys and younger?

Crux Australis on April 23, 2010 at 10:12 AM

I work with teenagers. They get it once they hear it. Tell them about the debt heading their way. Send them to the Debt Clock. Hand them a pocket copy of The Constitution. Talk about how Jon Stewart gets paid to be funny, not to tell the truth. I challenge them on the truth part and it encourages good conversations. Make them think. They are about to inherit a rotting disaster….we must work together to save America. As 18 rolls their way, encourage voting in all elections. I try to have extra bumper stickers for good Conservative choices and some with quotes from our Founders – even big kids still like stickers for their cars. I also buy a lot of pizzas…they listen better when they have food. Never give up. Stay strong.

redwhiteblue on April 23, 2010 at 1:38 PM

So we can expect the sampling in the CBS, NYT, etc etc polls will reflect this new trend, right?

Sir Napsalot on April 23, 2010 at 2:04 PM