More states moving to GOP column?

posted at 1:55 pm on February 3, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Today’s unemployment news gave the Obama administration a bit of good news for the upcoming election — and really just a bit — but Gallup had already provided a big dash of cold water yesterday.  In their look at partisan trends on a state-by-state basis, there has been a dramatic shift in favor of the Republican Party over the last four years.  In 2008, when Obama won his first term, 18 states were solidly Democratic while only four were solidly Republican.  It’s now 12 to 10, and that’s not even the extent of the bad news for the White House:

 Democrats have lost their solid political party affiliation advantage in 18 states since 2008, while Republicans have gained a solid advantage in 6 states. A total of 17 states were either solidly Republican or leaning Republican in their residents’ party affiliation in 2011, up from 10 in 2010 and 5 in 2008. Meanwhile, 19 states including the District of Columbia showed a solid or leaning Democratic orientation, down from 23 in 2010 and 36 in 2008. The remaining 15 states were relatively balanced politically, with neither party having a clear advantage.

Gallup classifies each state as solid Democratic, leaning Democratic, competitive, leaning Republican, or solid Republican, based on the percentage of residents identifying with or leaning toward the Democratic versus Republican parties. The 2011 results are based on Gallup Daily tracking interviews with more than 350,000 U.S. adults, including interviews with 1,000 or more residents in each of the 50 states and 730 in the District of Columbia. Each state’s sample is weighted to be representative of the state’s adult population.

The findings make it clear that U.S. states have undergone a dramatic political transformation since 2008, the year President Obama was elected, moving from a Democratically dominant political environment to one of parity.

Needless to say, this makes for a very different playing field in 2012, assuming that the trends continue.  In looking at the new map on the Gallup site and modeling it at, a Republican who can win the battleground (gray) states would prevail in the Electoral College, 348-190.  Even giving back a couple of obvious states — Oregon surely won’t go GOP, and Pennsylvania would be a surprise for Republicans — the GOP still wins, 321-217.  The GOP could even lose Michigan (305/233), Nevada (299/239), and Colorado (290/248) and still win the Presidency.

That’s not the only trend in play, either.  Philip Klein reports on a Pew study that shows Jewish voters becoming less attached to the Democratic Party:

In 2008, Pew found that 72 percent of Jews identified as Democrats and just 20 percent as Republicans. In 2011, that shifted to 65 percent to 29 percent, marking a 16-point narrowing in the net margin. Part of that has to do with an overall move toward the Republican party in the past three years. But not all of it. Republican gains among Jews were the biggest among any religious group other than Mormons.

“For most religious groups and for the public as a whole, the trend toward the GOP has come from people who are increasingly likely to say they lean toward the Republican party,” the Forward quoted Greg Smith, a senior researcher at Pew, as saying. “Jewish voters are really the exception.That’s the one religious group we’ve analyzed where the shift toward the GOP is not among leaners, but rather among actual Republican identifiers.”

Philip rightly notes that this shift may not impact a presidential race, as the Jewish vote might not be enough to impact an entire state, at least one close enough in polling to be impacted.  However, it may start Democrats wondering how they lost their large numerical advantage in states and how they managed to start alienating one of their most loyal constituencies during the Obama presidency.

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Comment pages: 1 2

The last thing the US needs for longterm welfare (the real meaning of the term, as in the Constitution) is an Obama replica with a managerial competence upgrade. Which is exactly what Flopney is. It is better to bite the bullet and have 4 more years of idiot Bamster and gridlock, than 8 years of fraudulent Flopney and a lockstep congress.

Daikokuco on February 3, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Obama’s only begun to destroy our economy. Four more years would be all he needs to complete the job. Romney, in fact, is right of center and is just about where Newt is on the issues and has flip-flopped no more than Newt. The real difference is that Romney’s got a well-oiled campaign machine and lots more money–and he fights dirtier, too. That would be just fine by me–though people like you might not sleep well at night.

writeblock on February 3, 2012 at 7:00 PM

hh yes the “we can win PA this time” dream of Republicans. Just like we can beat Barney Frank this time. Or we can take We can win Murtha’s seat this time.

Well, I guess we all need dreams.

angryed on February 3, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Typical red state ignorance about PA. My state routinely elects GOP governors–and has one now. It has a Republican legislature. What it won’t do is elect a Bush or a Huckabee or a Perry or anyone else who boorishly wears his religion on his sleeve. It liked Rudy a lot. He polled here ahead of Obama and Hillary by double digits last time around. But Dr. Dobson didn’t think he was pure enough. He preferred McCain–who lost every one of the swing states. The rest is history. People like you don’t get it at all. You apparently think the problem is with the state. To you Rudy and McCain are cut from the same cloth. You call both “moderates”, though one is a fiscal conservative, the other’s a fiscal idiot. Romney, Christie, Giuliani–all are good fits in this state. But to people like you they’re “rinos.” You much prefer a good ol’ boy like Newt–though he’d be a disaster here.

writeblock on February 3, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Our single greatest weapon against a 2nd Obama term is in your back pocket. It’s your wallet. All conservatives should stop all discretionary spending from now until election day. If you don’t need it…and I mean NEED it…don’t buy it. Go Galt and disappear until November. The Occupidiots are the looters Ayn Rand wrote about. We need to show them where they would be without us, the producers.

It helps to remind yourselves that every dime you spend between now and November 6 is a de facto donation to Obama’s re-election campaign.

Voters will hang the poor economy around Obama’s neck and on November 7 his official title will be President-Reject of the United States.

We’ll meet at dawn on election day and finish the job we started in 2010.

Doug Piranha on February 3, 2012 at 8:54 PM

The idiot lit all the candles on the same night and then joked about lighting them two weeks early. Wake up my people he is no friend of us Jews!

Semiteconservative on February 3, 2012 at 11:26 PM

Doug, I think your idea is great! Now if we could just find a way to let more people know about it.

sherrimae on February 4, 2012 at 10:30 PM

The only way that 0bama wins Michigan is if RonMe is the republican challenger.

DannoJyd on February 5, 2012 at 5:52 AM

Comment pages: 1 2