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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Party Identification

As we discuss in our chapter on political parties, pollsters routinely ask voters which party they identify with. The answer provides a good clue as to how people vote. Rasmussen reports:
The number of Republicans in the United States grew in August while the number of Democrats slipped a bit and the gap between the parties fell to the smallest advantage for Democrats in five years.

In August, 35.0% of American Adults identified themselves as Democrats. That’s down nearly half a percentage point from a month ago and is the smallest percentage of Democrats ever recorded in nearly eight years of monthly tracking.

At the same time, the number of Republicans grew in August grew to 33.8%. That’s up two full percentage points from the month before and the largest number of Republicans recorded in 2010.

Earlier this summer, Gallup found a similar pattern at the state level:

There are 10 fewer states in the solid Democratic category thus far in 2010 than there were in 2009, and one fewer state in the leaning Democratic category. At the same time, there are three more solid Republican states, and four more in the leaning Republican category. Sixteen states can be classified as competitive, four more than last year.

Gallup also notes important news about voting intentions:

Republicans lead by 51% to 41% among registered voters in Gallup weekly tracking of 2010 congressional voting preferences. The 10-percentage-point lead is the GOP's largest so far this year and is its largest in Gallup's history of tracking the midterm generic ballot for Congress.