I’m certain that as soon as media pollsters such as those who produce polls for Newsweek, the Washington Post and ABC, CBS, and NBC and the Wall Street Journal get this news, they will insist on samples that show a slight Republican edge among registered voters … right? Right? Anyone? Bueller?
In November, 36.0% of American Adults identified themselves as Republicans; 34.7% considered themselves Democrats, and 29.3% were not affiliated with either major party. That’s the largest number of Republicans since February 2005 and the first time ever that Rasmussen Reports polling has found more people identifying as Republicans than Democrats. …
In November 2008, following the presidential election, Democrats held a 7.6 percentage point advantage over the GOP. That means Republicans have picked up a net of approximately nine points over the past two years. That is a somewhat larger gain compared to the Democratic gains from the reelection of President Bush in 2004 to the Democratic takeover of Congress in 2006. However, it is similar to the gains recorded by Democrats during the four-year period from Election 2004 to Election 2008.
In each of the recent election cycles, the victorious party has gained in net partisan identification over the course of the election year.
Rasmussen also offers a buzz-kill warning:
It is worth noting, however, that the gains are often short-lived. Following Election 2004, the Republican partisan decline began in February 2005. In 2006, the Democratic edge began to decline as soon as they actually took control of Congress in January. Following President Obama’s victory in November 2008, the Democrat’s advantage in partisan identification peaked in December before declining.
Another point worth noting is that the GOP has the edge today partly because the number of Democrats is barely above the lowest level ever recorded in eight years of monthly tracking by Rasmussen Reports.
It’s hardly a secret that the wave in the midterms didn’t correspond to any large increase in popularity for Republicans. The leadership of the House Republican caucus has been cognizant of this reality ever since the election as well. Voters may have slightly increased their inclination to identify as Republicans, but still haven’t gone so far as to trust the GOP. All the Republicans got in November was a new opportunity to earn some loyalty after dissipating it in 2006 through a shower of pork, big-government spending, and scandal. If the GOP doesn’t make good on that opportunity, those numbers will reverse themselves soon.
Still, the new survey shows that media polls with double-digit gaps in partisan identification in the sample are completely laughable. Will we continue to see such sampling from the media outlets mentioned above after this report and a series of Gallup surveys showing a similar dead heat between the two parties? If so, that will attest to the purpose and intent of the media and their pollsters.