Gallup: Percentage of people identifying as Democrats reaches all time low

posted at 10:01 am on January 11, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

Politico has a good look at the latest Gallup survey on party preference which should have the establishment on both sides of the aisle worried. The news is particularly bad for the Democrats, who lost ground in 2015 and hit a near historic low water mark.

The share of Americans identifying as a Democrat dropped to a record low in 2015, according to the latest Gallup results published Monday, in the latest indication that Americans’ attachment to either political party is at or nearing historical lows.

Overall, 42 percent over the course of the last year identified as independents, a slight drop from the 43 percent who identified as such in 2014. While Democrats maintained a small advantage over Republicans — 29 percent to 26 percent — the Democratic share is at its lowest in Gallup history.

As you scroll through the numbers you’ll find that the GOP has no reason to celebrate either, because while the Democrats seem to be sinking, they still haven’t caught up to the fading fortunes of the Republican Party. But the difference at this point is so small as to be statistically insignificant. So what gives?

There were plenty of clues out there to be observed well before Gallup ran this survey. We’re living in the era of anti-establishment politics. That seems to be the most evident and vocal on the GOP side, but the Democrats are experiencing the same sort of malaise for their traditional machine organization. Donald Trump (and to a slightly lesser extent, Ted Cruz) may be the face of “screw the GOP!” but let’s not forget that Bernie Sanders is a similar symptom for the Democrats. Two new polls in just the last 24 hours are showing Sanders in a virtual tie with Hillary Clinton in both Iowa and New Hampshire. As I’ve said here repeatedly, that probably won’t translate into Bernie winning the nomination once the race moves out of New Hampshire, but it’s clearly an early warning sign showing at least some level of frustration with the DNC and the way things are supposed to work.

Before Sanders there was Elizabeth Warren, who very well might be kicking herself for deciding she she couldn’t run against Hillary. Her popularity in her own party is light years ahead of Clinton’s and Bernie seems to be in a constant race to see how many of her positions he can emulate. If we want one additional example it might be even more instructive to look at the chairs of the national parties. Even though some of our readers may have expressed some frustrations with Reince Priebus, at least you haven’t mounted a national petition drive to force him to resign as some Democrats have done with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

I used to think that the rising percentage of registered independents (now at 42 and steadily approaching majority status) was a reflection of Americans rejecting the idea that there needed to be a unified platform for the two “sides” which would serve as the home bases for a pair of warring camps. For some of them that may still be true, but recent events have me thinking that a significant slice of the independent pie is comprised of people who probably would have been a registered member of one party or the other if they weren’t so completely convinced that their party stinks on ice. That doesn’t mean that they suddenly believe in all the core principles of the opposing team… just that their side needs to fire their coaches before they consider coming back home.

DonkeyFight


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Comments

Past RNC convention, the number of Republicans will likely reach the historical lowest, too.

Rix on January 11, 2016 at 10:04 AM

failure is always an orphan.

WryTrvllr on January 11, 2016 at 10:06 AM

Yeah, voters are “independent”. ’til they’re not.

vnvet on January 11, 2016 at 10:07 AM

Very surprising.

I mean who isn’t attracted to a party that is anti-business, pro-Islam, anti-Christian, pro-communist, anti-family, pro-abortion, anti-military, anti-2nd Amendment, creates racial divisiveness, hates white people and forces schools to allow boys into girls bathrooms?

Must be something I’m not seeing.

darwin on January 11, 2016 at 10:07 AM

Both parties have gone to the extreme right/left. See the candidates. If they don’t follow the left/right view in every issue, they’re discounted from their party.

Moderates have no place to go.

Hillarys Cankles on January 11, 2016 at 10:09 AM

And now you understand how Trump could win everything in a landslide… he appeals to the disaffected voting base of BOTH PARTIES, and plans to make America great again instead of trying to consolidate power in the uni-party.

dominigan on January 11, 2016 at 10:10 AM

I mean who isn’t attracted to a party that is anti-business, pro-Islam, anti-Christian, pro-communist, anti-family, pro-abortion, anti-military, anti-2nd Amendment, creates racial divisiveness, hates white people and forces schools to allow boys into girls bathrooms?

Must be something I’m not seeing.

darwin on January 11, 2016 at 10:07 AM

Nope. Pretty much nailed it.

Turtle317 on January 11, 2016 at 10:12 AM

a significant slice of the independent pie is comprised of people who probably would have been a registered member of one party or the other if they weren’t so completely convinced that their party stinks on ice.

Truer words have ne’er been spoken.

ElectricPhase on January 11, 2016 at 10:13 AM

Both parties have gone to the extreme right/left.

Hillarys Cankles on January 11, 2016 at 10:09 AM

Statistics don’t bear you out.

Both establishments have moved left. And republicans have been castrated.

cozmo on January 11, 2016 at 10:14 AM

But each one votes 3 times so….

albill on January 11, 2016 at 10:15 AM

Trump 2016. Who needs a party?

platypus on January 11, 2016 at 10:16 AM

Jazz, it doesn’t REACH a low, it DROPS to a low.
: )
….and glad to hear it! Maybe some of them are finally acknowledging the trail of destruction.

herm2416 on January 11, 2016 at 10:16 AM

And republicans have been castrated.

cozmo on January 11, 2016 at 10:14 AM

Castration was only the beginning. Something else was removed also.

platypus on January 11, 2016 at 10:18 AM

Number of people identifying as Democrats reaches all time low

Hard to get enthused when your choices are old white liberals. One of which is a radical socialist who wants to destroy capitalism and the other one is Bernie Sanders.

Happy Nomad on January 11, 2016 at 10:18 AM

Hillarys Cankles on January 11, 2016 at 10:09 AM

The Republicans have gone extreme Right?!

Cleombrotus on January 11, 2016 at 10:19 AM

“We’re living in the era of anti-establishment politics. That seems to be the most evident and vocal on the GOP side, but the Democrats are experiencing the same sort of malaise for their traditional machine organization.”

That malaise has a funny way of turning around when you start promising people all sorts of goodies with other peoples’ money.

COskier on January 11, 2016 at 10:20 AM

Both parties have gone to the extreme right/left. See the candidates. If they don’t follow the left/right view in every issue, they’re discounted from their party.

Moderates have no place to go.

Hillarys Cankles on January 11, 2016 at 10:09 AM

Dunno….both parties are to the left of what I’d call ‘moderate’.

ElectricPhase on January 11, 2016 at 10:22 AM

Statistics don’t bear you out.
Both establishments have moved left. And republicans have been castrated.

The older, currently in power, Republicans. They’ll be replaced by a base that’s shifted far to the right. The change is already happening. Like I said, look at the candidates. You’ve got Trump and Cruz. They have Hillary and Bernie.

Hillarys Cankles on January 11, 2016 at 10:24 AM

a significant slice of the independent pie is comprised of people who probably would have been a registered member of one party or the other if they weren’t so completely convinced that their party stinks on ice.

Pretty much.

Hillarys Cankles on January 11, 2016 at 10:25 AM

But the difference at this point is so small as to be statistically insignificant.

Jazz, are you talking about the difference between the establishment side of both parties? Because I agree with you.

rbj on January 11, 2016 at 10:27 AM

A laser like focus on gun-control and opening the borders to all will help turn that frown upside down.

HumpBot Salvation on January 11, 2016 at 10:29 AM

Gallup: Percentage of people identifying as Democrats reaches all time low

Uh huh. Get back to me in October. Let’s see how many are not only identifying, but registered.

leftamark on January 11, 2016 at 10:29 AM

Uh huh. Get back to me in October. Let’s see how many are not only identifying, but registered.

leftamark on January 11, 2016 at 10:29 AM

That’s unfair. Millions of people don’t even suspect that they are registered, voting Democrats.

Rix on January 11, 2016 at 10:31 AM

Rix on January 11, 2016 at 10:31 AM

That’s just what they want you to believe…

leftamark on January 11, 2016 at 10:35 AM

Yeah, voters are “independent”. ’til they’re not.

vnvet on January 11, 2016 at 10:07 AM

That’s because it’s now hip and trendy to NOT identify with any group or position. Even gender, that stuff between your legs that you’re born with, is fluid now. Even in religion, established church membership is now considered taboo. So an aversion to party affiliation is just the next manifestation of this.

The problem is this: If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything.

CurtZHP on January 11, 2016 at 10:36 AM

a significant slice of the independent pie is comprised of people who probably would have been a registered member of one party or the other if they weren’t so completely convinced that their party stinks on ice.

That’s me.
Due to closed primaries, I temporarily register R then go back to I.

bazil9 on January 11, 2016 at 10:36 AM

bazil9 on January 11, 2016 at 10:36 AM

Yeah, but you’re a woman. You can do that.

cozmo on January 11, 2016 at 10:38 AM

bazil9 on January 11, 2016 at 10:36 AM

Yeah, but you’re a woman. You can do that.

cozmo on January 11, 2016 at 10:38 AM

How so?

bazil9 on January 11, 2016 at 10:38 AM

Tlaloc identifies as a triple democrat to make up for it.

SpongePuppy on January 11, 2016 at 10:39 AM

They will be like Carter for President supporters, who disappeared after a couple of years of him being in office.

All of sudden, all of those voters just seemed to fade back into the background and not be heard from.

“Who me? Voting for Carter? Naw…”

Everyone voted for Ford…it must have been a miscount or something…

right2bright on January 11, 2016 at 10:40 AM

Most of my family votes 100% Democrat yet they are “independents.”

In other words, they are too cowardly to admit they are Democrats even though they vote that way literally 100% of the time. Somewhere in their brain they know that Democrats are the party of racism, the party of greed, the party of hate, etc. but they let themselves off the hook by claiming to be “independent” voters.

Typical…

visions on January 11, 2016 at 10:40 AM

How so?

bazil9 on January 11, 2016 at 10:38 AM

Women change their minds more often than men change their shorts.

cozmo on January 11, 2016 at 10:41 AM

The problem is this: If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything.

CurtZHP on January 11, 2016 at 10:36 AM

2008 and 2012 proved that.

HumpBot Salvation on January 11, 2016 at 10:43 AM

bazil9 on January 11, 2016 at 10:38 AM

Women change their minds more often than men change their shorts.

cozmo on January 11, 2016 at 10:41 AM

lol, Coz.
I’m not changing my mind..just to vote. But I don’t want the GOP stank
on me.

bazil9 on January 11, 2016 at 10:44 AM

Very surprising.

I mean who isn’t attracted to a party that is anti-business, pro-Islam, anti-Christian, pro-communist, anti-family, pro-abortion, anti-military, anti-2nd Amendment, creates racial divisiveness, hates white people and forces schools to allow boys into girls bathrooms?

Must be something I’m not seeing.

darwin on January 11, 2016 at 10:07 AM

Totally agree.

Wait… which party are we talking about?

Dolce Far Niente on January 11, 2016 at 10:44 AM

But I don’t want the GOP stank
on me.

bazil9 on January 11, 2016 at 10:44 AM

What a coincidence. That’s why men change their shorts…occasionally.

cozmo on January 11, 2016 at 10:49 AM

bazil9 on January 11, 2016 at 10:44 AM

What a coincidence. That’s why men change their shorts…occasionally.

cozmo on January 11, 2016 at 10:49 AM

Bahahaha..yuck. ;)

bazil9 on January 11, 2016 at 10:54 AM

Very surprising.

I mean who isn’t attracted to a party that is anti-business, pro-Islam, anti-Christian, pro-communist, anti-family, pro-abortion, anti-military, anti-2nd Amendment, creates racial divisiveness, hates white people and forces schools to allow boys into girls bathrooms?

Must be something I’m not seeing.

darwin on January 11, 2016 at 10:07 AM

I’m sorry which party, Democrat or Republican, are you talking about?
This list has aspects that apply to both now days.

mechkiller_k on January 11, 2016 at 11:02 AM

Gallup: Percentage of people identifying as Democrats reaches all time low

Overall, 42 percent over the course of the last year identified as independents, a slight drop from the 43 percent who identified as such in 2014. While Democrats maintained a small advantage over Republicans — 29 percent to 26 percent — the Democratic share is at its lowest in Gallup history.

Everything old is new again.

Record-High 40% of Americans Identify as Independents in ’11

PRINCETON, NJ — The percentage of Americans identifying as political independents increased in 2011, as is common in a non-election year, although the 40% who did so is the highest Gallup has measured, by one percentage point. More Americans continue to identify as Democrats than as Republicans, 31% to 27%.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/151943/record-high-americans-identify-independents.aspx

Same pollster, same time before a general election, very similar numbers. And I know you don;t like to think about how 2012 turned out, but…

Tlaloc on January 11, 2016 at 11:09 AM

Tlaloc on January 11, 2016 at 11:09 AM

Where are your PUMA’s? They must be orgasmic they finally get Killary
to vote for.

bazil9 on January 11, 2016 at 11:12 AM

darwin on January 11, 2016 at 10:07 AM

Totally agree.

Wait… which party are we talking about?

Dolce Far Niente on January 11, 2016 at 10:44 AM

There is a difference?

bluefox on January 11, 2016 at 11:13 AM

Fortunately, in Texas you don’t have to state a party, which is a good thing for me. The Republicans, of which I was a member until the 2012 election, make me want to throw up.

I dropped them like a hot potato and went independent. Then I moved to Texas.

hachiban on January 11, 2016 at 11:15 AM

Republicans should be very concerned about this. This is one of the few areas where I actually believe a conspiracy is happening. Liberals are infiltrating Libertarian and Independent groups/organizations with massive numbers in order to sway ideology. I know for a fact inside SJW groups, this is an organized infiltration. Please don’t be fooled.

Republigal on January 11, 2016 at 11:18 AM

hachiban on January 11, 2016 at 11:15 AM

I think a closed primary is the best way to go..even tho it’s a pain in my a$$.

Yeah..I’ve been at the hurl stage myself.

bazil9 on January 11, 2016 at 11:19 AM

The Republicans are still pretty close to their all-time low as well. The headline here should be “independents remain at an all-time high as both major parties scare away voters.”

TBSchemer on January 11, 2016 at 11:26 AM

How’s that “permanent realignment” working out for ya, Dems?

evergreen on January 11, 2016 at 11:26 AM

Interestingly, the data also implies that registered third-party members are at an all-time high. The Libertarians are rising.

TBSchemer on January 11, 2016 at 11:38 AM

Interestingly, the data also implies that registered third-party members are at an all-time high. The Libertarians are rising.

TBSchemer on January 11, 2016 at 11:38 AM

These are not the libertarians you’re looking for.

Rix on January 11, 2016 at 11:46 AM

19% of Americans self-identify as Libertarians, with younger voters leading the charge at 32%.

Think about that. The largest voting generation has more self-described Libertarians than conservatives, and they’re only going to get more libertarian as the government grows in power and corruption.

TBSchemer on January 11, 2016 at 11:50 AM

New, young Libertarians are way, way more Left than they are Right.

Republigal on January 11, 2016 at 11:56 AM

they’re only going to get more libertarian as the government grows in power and corruption.

TBSchemer on January 11, 2016 at 11:50 AM

Then again….

Older and younger generations have always clashed about values. Typically, these clashes result from younger people being more liberal, and older people more conservative. This is somewhat ironic since older people were also quite liberal when they were young, and younger people will become more conservative when they grow old.

lineholder on January 11, 2016 at 11:59 AM

Who needs a party?

platypus on January 11, 2016 at 10:16 AM

Everywhere I go it’s a party.

trigon on January 11, 2016 at 12:02 PM

Ah, the mythical “national” movement to oust DWS from her position as head of the DNC.

And when you say “national” you mean, a tiny, miniscule fraction of actual Democrats – 27,000 of the roughly 90 million democrats, or about 0.03%.

deadrody on January 11, 2016 at 12:04 PM

You could probably say that Conservatives are more realistic about the effectiveness of the online petition process. I guarantee more Republicans are fed up with Priebus. They just realize starting an online petition to get rid of him is not just ineffective, but idiotic.

deadrody on January 11, 2016 at 12:05 PM

Most of my family votes 100% Democrat yet they are “independents.”

visions on January 11, 2016 at 10:40 AM

Do they live in Massachusetts ? That state makes an olympic sport out of registing Independent and then voting for Democrats.

deadrody on January 11, 2016 at 12:09 PM

Please stop telling me how Cruz is anti establishment. He is a career politician and first time Senator and his propaganda makes North Korea look good. He has accomplished absolutely nothing other than talking and arguing in typical Senate fashion. He is not Trump, and doesn’t even have the same views as Trump, and I am not currently a Trump supporter, and certainly not a Cruz supporter either. A Veteran and Tea Party supporter.

leader4hru on January 11, 2016 at 12:12 PM

Most of my family votes 100% Democrat yet they are “independents.”

In other words, they are too cowardly to admit they are Democrats even though they vote that way literally 100% of the time. Somewhere in their brain they know that Democrats are the party of racism, the party of greed, the party of hate, etc. but they let themselves off the hook by claiming to be “independent” voters.

Typical…

visions on January 11, 2016 at 10:40 AM

That comes from the hospital where they were born. When they were pulled out, the doctor stamped “D” on their ass to get them to cry and they have been crying ever since. Once they get that “D” embedded on their ass, the only way to change it is to become half-assed something else.

Old Country Boy on January 11, 2016 at 12:23 PM

Gallup, at the original poll link:

The rise in political independence is likely related to Americans’ frustration with party gridlock in the federal government.

This myth is pushed hard by those who are selling the idea that a lot more “cooperation” and “compromise” (only in one direction, of course) would fix things.

No, Gallup. It’s not about “gridlock.” A smoothly-operating all-powerful State would not improve things.

TB on January 11, 2016 at 12:29 PM

New, young Libertarians are way, way more Left than they are Right.

Republigal on January 11, 2016 at 11:56 AM

Libertarianism is on its own axis, perpendicular to the Left-Right axis. Conservatives who think anyone that’s not conservative is a leftist always think libertarians are leftists, and liberals who think anyone that’s not liberal is a conservative always think libertarians are conservatives.

I’ve been called both a “radical liberal” and “extreme conservative” within the space of 5 minutes on two different websites. The fact is, the liberals and conservatives who make those claims are just ignorant of what Libertarianism really is, and have an extreme distorted perspective of the world.

TBSchemer on January 11, 2016 at 12:48 PM

There’s nothing wrong with the political parties that a little piano wire and a lamppost can’t resolve.

bbinfl on January 11, 2016 at 1:23 PM

Republigal on January 11, 2016 at 11:56 AM

They’re Bill Maher Libertarians–nanny-staters who want to smoke pot.

DrMagnolias on January 11, 2016 at 1:24 PM

When we gripe amongst ourselves about the GOP, we are not concealing anything, and yet we choose the more conservative party, and have no qualms saying the words “I am a conservative.” But for others the media shaming and bullying, and the bullying by the cool people, and those they admire means they don’t want to say they are conservatives in public. They are not democrats because NOBODY wants the blame of what this administration has done as it is run amok, but they don’t want people to think they are not cool, they are just not to blame. Even Hilary their candidate runs from Obama’s record, although she has never helped out and fixed anything or encouraged her democrat colleagues in the Senate to fix anything, she has let the country rot with her silence. She has condoned Obama’s murky malfeasance and ineptitude.

If you want to have a say, join the GOP in time to vote in your state. If you are too ashamed, join the conservative party, if you have one, but know that your primary choices might be lacking. Take a stand. When you join the GOP, you can start effecting change within the party. When only the entrenched/established are enrolled, they can’t hear your voices. If you vote for tea party candidates, but then you are missing when the party comes looking for state and local candidates, they don’t count you and don’t have to listen to you. If you think you are going to run as a republican sometime and show us how it is done, join the party a couple years earlier and try out some of the grunt work. Serve in your locality. Show up. So many that complain about the GOP have never joined or tried to affect any change, they are merely spectators.

Fleuries on January 11, 2016 at 1:25 PM

TBS….

They want to smoke pot. My son is a drug free 20 something…and even he says this.

You tiresome clueless [email protected]

CWforFreedom on January 11, 2016 at 1:48 PM

TBS….

They want to smoke pot. My son is a drug free 20 something…and even he says this.

You tiresome clueless [email protected]

CWforFreedom on January 11, 2016 at 1:48 PM

I’m a drug-free 20 something (admittedly, in the upper half).

Some of them want to smoke pot. Some of them want to pay less taxes. Some of them want to start businesses. Some of them just want to be left alone by the big-brother that government has become. Some of them are very well-educated on political philosophy, and realize that Libertarianism is the one true descendant of classical liberalism, which is inseparable from the principles that founded the United States of America.

Regardless of why they want it, the fact is that more and more people are seeing the wisdom in libertarianism. If the desire to smoke pot is what shows them the absurdity of the interventionist state, then the Drug War is only growing our ranks.

TBSchemer on January 11, 2016 at 2:05 PM

Why do you care? You’re not a libertarian. You’re a globalist.

blink on January 11, 2016 at 2:03 PM

Oh that’s cute…you’ve discovered a another word that you don’t understand to repeat over and over again.

TBSchemer on January 11, 2016 at 2:06 PM

There’s nothing wrong with the political parties that a little piano wire and a lamppost can’t resolve.

bbinfl on January 11, 2016 at 1:23 PM

.
If ya’ uses piana wire, ya cain’t drop em too fur, they heads pop off.

meerbock on January 11, 2016 at 2:36 PM

No wonder

Schadenfreude on January 11, 2016 at 3:26 PM

You want none of that. You want globalization. You’ve made that perfectly clear in your comments.

Hey, you’ve never answered the question that I repeatedly ask you. Can corporations own property?

blink on January 11, 2016 at 3:13 PM

I want immigrants to our country who want that to also be left alone by our government. YOU want big-government to try to use immigration laws to keep out people who have the “wrong” race or religion.

TBSchemer on January 11, 2016 at 3:36 PM

Totally agree.

Wait… which party are we talking about?

Dolce Far Niente

Once again someone (everyone?) is faster than I!!!

E9RET on January 11, 2016 at 5:34 PM

I want immigrants to our country who want that to also be left alone by our government. YOU want big-government to try to use immigration laws to keep out people who have the “wrong” race or religion.

TBSchemer

I want immigrants to our country who’s first act on our soil is not breaking our laws….too much to ask for?

E9RET on January 11, 2016 at 5:42 PM

And this folks, is how you write slanted headlines (though Jazz just took it wholesale from Politico). Just reading that, you wouldn’t know that actual registered Ds maintain a higher % than Rs, and Rs are just 1% up from their all-time low of 25%. Headline spinning at its finest.

CivilDiscourse on January 11, 2016 at 6:11 PM

Both parties have gone to the extreme right/left.

Hillarys Cankles on January 11, 2016 at 10:09 AM

Statistics don’t bear you out.

Both establishments have moved left. And republicans have been castrated.

cozmo on January 11, 2016 at 10:14 AM

Yeah, I don’t see much solid Conservatism on the part of the Republican Party…but plenty of Socialism from the Democrats.

Besides, Karl Marx could register Republican if he wanted to. The Leftists have infiltrated the Republican Party ages ago just as they have other institutions.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 11, 2016 at 6:13 PM

Some Democrats don’t want to identify themselves as such because, after seven years of Obama, they’re now trying like Hell to distance themselves from him. They know that when the SHTF, there will be reprisals… against them.

But Democrats cannot erase history. They *fully* embraced Obama’s radical agenda, and they “own” him. Forever. They could never leave Obama’s side just as Satan’s Helpers can never abandon him, the ties being inextricable. They chose their fate! As the Knight says near the end of ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’: “They chose poorly.”

Sure, there will be those Democrats out there who try to have their “O” tattoos removed, figuratively speaking, but what’s already *carved* into their foreheads will last a lifetime. May they wear that well.

JoeKidd on January 11, 2016 at 6:21 PM

The number of Democrats will continue to go down as people’s Obamacare bills continue to go up.

leereyno on January 12, 2016 at 12:04 AM

For conservatives, the two parties seem to be offering either:

A: The party of Big Government

or

B: The other party of Big Government

If you’re not a supporter of the whole Big Government bandwagon, then there’s little reason to identify with either of the two Big Government parties.

The view from the left may see the two choices more as:

A: The party of Big Business*

or

B: The other party of Big Business*

(* or ‘the rich’ or ‘capitalism’ or etc.)

Which again, gives ‘progressives’ little reason to embrace either party.

It’s little wonder that ‘outsiders’ like Trump and Sanders are doing so well.

s1im on January 12, 2016 at 3:40 PM