Gallup: Democrats lose ground in state polls

posted at 10:12 am on July 26, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Gallup’s latest analysis shows that Democrats have not just lost ground on the national level, but also within states as well.  Using a general-population sample (more on that in a moment), the survey shows that Democrats have gone from a twelve-point advantage on the eve of Barack Obama’s big win in 2008 to a mere four-point, within-the-MOE lead in party identification.  Fewer states are showing significant Democratic advantage as a result:

More states are politically competitive this year than was the case in 2009, as fewer Americans nationwide identify with the Democratic Party. Vermont — along with the District of Columbia — is the most Democratic state in the U.S. in 2010 so far, while Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho are the most Republican.

These results are based on interviews with more than 175,000 U.S. adults, conducted between January and June 2010 as part of Gallup Daily tracking. …

Nationwide, Democrats have a 4-point party identification advantage over Republicans in 2010 (44% to 40%), down from an 8-point advantage in 2009 and a 12-point advantage in 2008.

While Democrats’ party strength fell in each of the last two years, Republicans have not gained concomitantly. Instead, the percentage of Americans who do not identify with or lean toward either political party has increased.

The sample is the key.  Gallup did not ask for registered or likely voters, but instead opted for the wider but less accurate sampling technique.  We have a basis of comparison as well, the 2008 election.  Gallup showed Democrats with a 12-point advantage in the general population, but Obama only won the popular vote by seven points — and that was with the help of Republican crossovers.  The general-population sample overstates Democratic support in actual elections, even the one with massive turnout that propelled Obama into the White House.

The four-point advantage today, therefore, looks pretty thin.  Among registered voters, it’s probably dead even or perhaps a negative number.

The sample didn’t help Democrats with the states.  Two years ago, Democrats had significant advantage in 30 states.  In 2009, that number dropped to 24.  This year, it’s 14.  A few of those states went into the “leaner” category for Democrats, going from 6 to 10 and then to 9, respectively.  Overall. the number of states with Democratic advantage has dropped from 36 to 23 in just two years.  Republican states have grown from 5 to 12 in the same period, with the rest too close to call.

Gallup concludes that Republicans will have a good midterm in Congressional seats, but that’s more or less known already.  The bigger problem for Democrats will be in the state houses.  Redistricting starts next year, after the 2010 Census reports get published.  If Republicans take control of more state houses, they may drive more of the redistricting — and that has implications well beyond these midterm elections.


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This map cannot be correct – no way is Oklahoma “competitive”. Last election every country went for McCain, and after the last two years it will be worse for Dems. This is a safe red state, so I’m not believing these results.

silvernana on July 26, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Gallop must be a member of Journolist!

silvernana on July 26, 2010 at 12:02 PM

If the Republicans want to regain their strength and relevancy, they should seriously look into today’s equivalent of the “Contract With America,” that brought them to control of Congress in 1994. Their getting away from those values helped me to decide to become an Independent.

DL13 on July 26, 2010 at 12:03 PM

McCain got 52% in Georgia. It’s a lot more Dem than you think. Try finding a Republican in the city of Atlanta. They’re about as common as statues honoring General Sherman.

angryed on July 26, 2010 at 10:32 AM

The State of Georgia is much more than an island of Atlanta. Much of the state has gone Republican, and even some of the Metro counties surrounding the ‘doughnut city’ has long since left the Democrat plantation. How else do you explain the overwhelming representation?

Phil-351 on July 26, 2010 at 11:52 AM

I was responding to the post that said McCain got 65% in GA. He did not. Not even close.

Yes GA is more than Atlanta. But Atlanta (Fulton and Dekalb counties) vote like San Francisco. And between them make about about 20% of the state’s population.

When you have 20% of the population voting 80% Democrat, you need 65% of the rest of the state to vote Republican to win. That’s hard to do consistently. And if you look at population growth, it’s all in Atlanta.

angryed on July 26, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Don’t you get why you moved to TX in the first place?
angryed on July 26, 2010 at 10:53 AM

I’m not big on tax increases, so I’m not voting for people that want to increase taxes or screw up the business climate. And I don’t think the Democrat running for governor will do that. But I do want someone who is more moderate on social issues.
Jimbo3 on July 26, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Jimbo,
WHICH PARTY believes in increasing taxes (hint: It starts with a “D”)? WHY do they increas taxes (hint: It has to do with expanding social services)?

All of those people who voted for Obama in order to “do the right thing” fooled themselves into believing that he wouldn’t “increase taxes or screw up the business climate”, as you put it. Their attitude was – like yours with the Texas governor’s race – “And I don’t think the Democrat running for governor President will do that.”

And what happened? Taxes went up and the business climate got screwed up. And who was responsible for making that happen (hint: the President ain’t a Republican)? In other words, just like every Democrat before him, Obama lied.

Why did you move to Texas? What were the tax rates and/or business climate like in your former state of residence? Which political party was in charge in your former state? Have you looked long and hard into WHY you left your former state? Haven’t you learned ANYTHING from that experience?

I’ve lived in Texas my entire life, and the reason She is such a wonderful state is precisely because Native Texans value their liberties. We are fiscally responsible, and believe that people should be responsible for taking care of their own.

I HATE what I see happening in Houston (I grew up near there) – it is turning into a Democratic welfare cesspool. I DO NOT want to see that happen to the rest of the state, but we have so many people moving here from Democratic states who haven’t learned from that experience. I sincerely hope that you don’t make the same mistake.

AngryEd,
Always remember that Liberalism is a disease….

TeresainFortWorth on July 26, 2010 at 12:19 PM

It’s not enough to gain back the House and Senate – the democrat party must be destroyed, from 0bama on down to the local dog catcher.

Every single democrat office holder, no matter how modest, must be thrown out on their ear, to pay for what their party has done to America.

That’s our responsibility.

Rebar on July 26, 2010 at 10:43 AM

!!!!!!!!

gary4205 on July 26, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Note that this poll sampled “US Adults”, not registered voters, not likely voters, etc. A poll with this lax a criteria always favors democratics. It would even include illegal aliens. I wouldn’t pay it any mind.

This election season in fact, I believe that there will be an even greater than historical spread between ‘registered voters’ and ‘likely voters’ because the democratics have lost that fraction that now regret voting for the worst president in US history, and don’t know what else to do but stay home.

slickwillie2001 on July 26, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Using a general-population sample (more on that in a moment), the survey shows that Democrats have gone from a twelve-point advantage on the eve of Barack Obama’s big win in 2008 to a mere four-point, within-the-MOE lead in party identification.

When looking at polls from here to November, keep that number in mind.

Any poll of likely voters that has Democrat turnout within 8 points of exit polls from 2008 should immediately be considered suspect.

JohnGalt23 on July 26, 2010 at 12:35 PM

How, how, how can it even be close?

We are truly in danger of losing this republic.

IronDioPriest on July 26, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Republicans not governing reliably with free market\limited government principles.

WashJeff on July 26, 2010 at 10:19 AM

That should be etched into the walls of every Republican party HQ, starting with those of the RNC.

JohnGalt23 on July 26, 2010 at 12:40 PM

One issue voters destroy a nation. If they are for “choice”, then they accept taxes, high unemployment, poor health care, etc. They only want the one issue that hits their hot button.
So they move to Texas (or wherever), and they carry that one “hot” button with them and they want just one or two liberal ideas…but to get those they have to buy the whole package of the liberal agenda.
So it gets to where it is now, record unemployment, record deficit spending, health care bill in shambles, weakening international money and prestige…then they begin “thinking” about a change, but they don’t want to give up the one thing that turns them on.

right2bright on July 26, 2010 at 12:42 PM

I’m not voting for people that want to increase taxes or screw up the business climate. And I don’t think the Democrat running for governor will do that.

Jimbo3 on July 26, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Either you’re naive or you think we are.

fossten on July 26, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Someone here seems to think that our government does not promote the idea that we have a right to things we need.

Bat Chain Puller on July 26, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Our government guarantees to protect our right to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” but there’s nothing in our founding documents about “needs,” which would vary wildly from person to person and from one generation to another.
If DemocRat politicians are promising to meet your “needs,” that’s another matter entirely.
It’s dishonest and frankly, unAmerican.
Read your Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence.

Jenfidel on July 26, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Well you can’t really have one or the other. If you vote for a liberal that wants abortion on demand and no more guns (and good luck getting that in Texas BTW), you’re also going to get a tax/spend liberal on fiscal issues.

angryed on July 26, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Well, then I have to choose. Why don’t you be smart and run some libertarian GOP types in Texas for people like me.

Jimbo3 on July 26, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Gallup must be a part of Journolist! Ding Ding we have a winner.

eaglewingz08 on July 26, 2010 at 2:37 PM

In my part of the country, Illinois, many of my co-workers always voted Democrat come hell or high water. But Obama stands for everything they hate even though they are strong union members (steelworkers). My bet is they will go Republican but would never say it out loud.

Herb on July 26, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Gallup’s left slanting poll, still shows troubles for democraps.

Slowburn on July 26, 2010 at 2:51 PM

The map shows Texas as “competitive”. Only in their dreams. Texas hasn’t voted Democratic since before Reagen and will (hopefully) never vote Democratic again. We learned our lesson.

Theophile on July 26, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Well, then I have to choose. Why don’t you be smart and run some libertarian GOP types in Texas for people like me.

We do. We have a famous one called Ron Paul…. you may have heard of him. :) :) :)

Theophile on July 26, 2010 at 4:09 PM

All that needs to be done is to define the word Conservative truthfully. It hs been woefully distorted by the left for too many years.

With the revelation of the Journo-list this is the perfect time to expose the lies of the left, and to spell out Consevative in clear and concise terms. That equals landslide and the end of the New Progressive Movement. .

Key West Reader on July 26, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Gallup showed Democrats with a 12-point advantage in the general population, but Obama only won the popular vote by seven points — and that was with the help of Republican crossovers. The general-population sample overstates Democratic support in actual elections, even the one with massive turnout that propelled Obama into the White House.

The four-point advantage today, therefore, looks pretty thin. Among registered voters, it’s probably dead even or perhaps a negative number.

Only 4 points??? Since the vast majority of the populace professes to be conservative in temperment, untold millions of ‘conservatives’ must be voting for democrats. It’d be nice if these wingnuts could actually figure out that the democratic party does not adhere to a conservative agenda.

Godzilla on July 26, 2010 at 4:55 PM

y don’t you be smart and run some libertarian GOP types in Texas for people like me.

Jimbo3 on July 26, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Why don’t you be smart and run some libertarian GOP types in Texas for people like me.

Jimbo3 on July 26, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Why would it “smart?”
We’re still working on what “like me” actually is or means, Himbo.

Jenfidel on July 26, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Why would it “smart?”
We’re still working on what “like me” actually is or means, Himbo.

Jenfidel on July 26, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Deceitful leftists. There is a whole political party for min already.

Inanemergencydial on July 26, 2010 at 5:48 PM

It has begun.

Mr. Joe on July 26, 2010 at 6:15 PM

Indiana competitive at what? Basketball?

My dog, Waylon, could beat Ellsworth for Senate here in Indiana. Feel free to correct me, fellow Hoosiers, but I haven’t heard of a race other than city/county where a DEM is in the lead.

Thanks for the tip, Gallup. I now realize you’re unreliable.

Oink on July 26, 2010 at 6:16 PM

Who the hell trusts Gallup anymore? They were caught lying last week, for crying out loud.

ErinF on July 26, 2010 at 6:38 PM

I am just looking for a Governor that does not end up being indicted for conduct while in office. That would be a milestone in IL.

WashJeff on July 26, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Hahahaha!
Blago’s attorney may get held in contempt tomorrow.
Pass the popcorn please.

annoyinglittletwerp on July 26, 2010 at 7:51 PM

They show Arizona, home to SB1070,as only leaning Republican as opposed to solid Republican. Don’t even get me started on my home state being competitive. This map is a liberal dream.

txmomof6 on July 26, 2010 at 8:48 PM

y don’t you be smart and run some libertarian GOP types in Texas for people like me.

Jimbo3 on July 26, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Why don’t you be smart and run some libertarian GOP types in Texas for people like me.

Jimbo3 on July 26, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Why would it “smart?”
We’re still working on what “like me” actually is or means, Himbo.

Jenfidel on July 26, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Don’t worry. My Dad and I will be moving to Texas shortly. We’re both reliable Republican voters. We’ll be more than happy to cancel out A dumbass like Jimbo. ;-)

trigon on July 26, 2010 at 9:11 PM

Son Kenyatta and daughter Russia defended their mother from charges of racism which led to her resignation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture position as director of its Rural Development program in Georgia on Tuesday.

To which a commenter said:

“So, Unlike Sarah Palin, Shirley Sherrod really CAN see Russia from her Living Room!”

Rovin on July 26, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Yea….I was surprised didn’t just go with “Stalin” .

Baxter Greene on July 26, 2010 at 11:26 PM

I’m kinda gobsmacked as the sheer number of historically illiterate people misinterpret this poll. Let’s get a couple of things straight:

a.) This poll covers the entire year of 2010, from the beginning when Obama was still mildly popular all the way to the present day. So yes, it would show D-R gap that isn’t representative of what’s going on right now. That’s a probably a good thing to take into account the fact that voter ID fluctuates over time. However, it’s not left-wing propaganda to keep a running tabs of voter ID.

b.) Gallup shouldnt’ve use the label “competitive” because it confuses people thinking that somehow that there is competition in states that actually has none. HOWEVER, this is voter self-ID and in places like TX, ancestral D affiliation is strong, even when the voting pattern isn’t there. We should be VERY PROUD that the gap is very small between the two since the D usually has double-digit ID lead in TX. This is true of pretty much in the entire South, West Virginia, and Oklahoma.

c.) Two Southern states now have +GOP ID advantage: Alabama and South Carolina. This is probably unprecedented in US history. Arkansas is the next Deep South state to turn going from +10 D in 2009 to -2 today.

d.) New Hampshire comes home! :D It went from an 8 point D ID in 2009 to a +6 GOP. Big shift! Maine slashes from D advantage from +14 to just +5.

e.) The poll has good news for the GOP in every state as they cut into D leads drastically. MN went from +12 to +4 D. WA goes from +14 to +7. CA went from +20 to +14. Hawaii went from +27(!) to +13. CO is now tied.

Americans are coming home folks.

Apologetic California on July 27, 2010 at 12:57 AM

angryed on July 26, 2010 at 12:07 PM

The fastest growing county in GA is Gwinnett, and, even as a ‘Metro’ Atlanta county, is overwhelmingly Conservative. North Fulton County is too. So is Cobb.

Your math is off. 20% of the population voting 80% democRAT locks in 16% of the vote. There’s 84% left to fight over. And the Republicans have a stong foothold outside the city limits.

Phil-351 on July 27, 2010 at 9:42 AM

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