Republicans hold wide advantages in party identification among several groups of voters, including white men without a college degree, people living in rural communities in the South and those who frequently attend religious services.
Democrats hold formidable advantages among a contrasting set of voters, such as black women, residents of urban communities in the Northeast and people with no religious affiliation.
With the presidential election on the horizon, the U.S. electorate continues to be deeply divided by race and ethnicity, education, gender, age and religion. The Republican and Democratic coalitions, which bore at least some demographic similarities in past decades, have strikingly different profiles today.
A new analysis by Pew Research Center of long-term trends in party affiliation – based on surveys conducted among more than 360,000 registered voters over the past 25 years, including more than 12,000 in 2018 and 2019 – finds only modest changes in recent years.
Overall, 34% of registered voters identify as independents, 33% as Democrats and 29% as Republicans. The share of voters identifying as Republicans is now the same as it was in 2016, after having ticked down in 2017; Democratic identification is unchanged. Slightly fewer voters identify as independents than in 2017 (34% vs. 37%). See detailed tables.
Most independents lean toward one of the major parties (leaners tend to vote and have similar views as those who identify with a party), and when the partisan leanings of independents are taken into account, 49% of registered voters identify as Democrats or lean Democratic, while 44% affiliate with the GOP or lean Republican.