There are actually two shifts in the trends from Gallup’s latest polling on party identification, and both cut against the grain of media narratives of late. A few friends and readers pointed this out to me yesterday and asked what it might mean for the election. At least on the surface, they suggest that the fortunes of Donald Trump and the GOP might not be quite as dire as they appear — and that voter modeling might not have caught up to that.
In the partisan split, Republicans took a surprising lead last month — by one point, granted, but it was a +8 shift in the gap since June:
That is a significant shift — not so much as a gain for Republicans since June (+2), but as a drain of Democrats (-6). That’s outside of a margin-of-error shift, meaning that this looks like a significant decline of Democrats’ standing since Joe Biden’s primary win. What’s more, this took place over a period of time when news was breaking more against Trump and the GOP rather than in their favor. It’s the lowest percentage of Democrats in Gallup’s polling since February of this year, when the party was in the middle of its Biden-Bernie primary fight.