For the first time, there are fewer registered Republicans than independents

But before anybody chalks this up as having to do with the current occupant of the White House, it’s worth parsing the trends.

While independents have surpassed Republicans, there actually hasn’t been a huge drop in GOP party registration since Donald Trump took office. Since October 2016, GOP registration has dropped by half a percentage point. Democrats have actually declined by nearly a full point over the same span. Independents have benefited from both drops.

And they have been doing so for years. Democrats are more than three points off their peak this century, which was in 2008 when Barack Obama was about to become president. At the time, 43.62 percent of voters were registered Democrats.

Republicans are also more than three points off where they were four years earlier, in 2004, when 32.79 percent of voters were Republicans and George W. Bush won reelection.