Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

Is The Two-Party System In Peril?

Posted Jan 16, 2014 at 8:42 AM by Maurice Berger

A survey by Gallup reports that 42% of Americans identify as political independents in 2013. This number is the highest in 25 years. Republican identification dropped to 25%, the lowest over the same period. Democratic identification, at 31%, remains unchanged from the last four years.

Democrats Retake Lead In Party Affiliation

Posted Jan 11, 2013 at 9:39 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new poll by Gallup, "an average of 47% of Americans identified as Democrats or said they were independents who leaned Democratic in 2012, compared with 42% who identified as or leaned Republican. That re-establishes a Democratic edge in party affiliation after the two parties were essentially tied in 2010 and 2011."

Election 2012: Republicans More Enthusiastic About Voting

Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 1:05 AM by Maurice Berger

In what bodes as a potential problem for Democrats overall in next year's federal election, a new survey by Gallup reports that Republican voters are more likely to express enthusiasm about voting in next year's presidential election. On the national level, 56% of registered GOP voters and 48% of Democratic voters are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting. In 12 key swing states, the Republican advantage is even greater: 59% to 48%.

Serious Erosion Of White Democrats

Posted Jul 25, 2011 at 2:20 AM by Maurice Berger

In what could spell serious trouble for the President's reelection effort next year, A new Pew Research survey reports that the GOP has made significant gains among white voters in the three years since Barack Obama was elected president. In 2008, the Republicans could claim a 2% lead among whites--46% to 44%. Today, that lead has expanded to a whopping +13% lead today, 52% to 39%. To put these numbers in perspective, Obama won the 2008 race with only 43% of the white vote. Any significant diminution of that number would greatly hamper his reelection effort.

Democratic Party Affiliation Grows

Posted Jun 16, 2011 at 1:29 AM by Maurice Berger

In a good sign for Democrats, party affiliation has grown in recent months comparable to the GOP. A new Gallup poll finds 45% of Americans identified as Democrats last month as compared to 39% who identified as Republicans.

Which States Are Most Democratic or Republican?

Posted Jul 27, 2010 at 1:57 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup, "more states are politically competitive this year than was the case in 2009, as fewer Americans nationwide identify with the Democratic Party. Vermont -- along with the District of Columbia -- is the most Democratic state in the U.S. in 2010 so far, while Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho are the most Republican." Here is Gallup's chart of the most Democratic and Republican states in the union:

Top 10 Democratic States, January-June 2010 Top 10 Republican States, January-June 2010

Enthusiasm Gap Hurts Democrats

Posted May 05, 2010 at 1:45 AM by Maurice Berger

Although U.S. registered voters are closely divided in their 2010 congressional election preferences, a new Gallup survey reports that "those who say they are 'very enthusiastic about voting' this year show a strong preference for the Republican Party . . . Gallup has consistently found Republicans expressing a higher level of enthusiasm than Democrats about voting in this year's election campaign. Theoretically, those who are enthusiastic about voting would be more likely to turn out to vote than those who are not enthusiastic. This fall, Gallup will be better able to measure the potential impact of turnout on the vote by applying its 'likely voter' model to the generic ballot results. That model takes into account a more complete set of factors related to voting, including interest in the election, intention to vote, and past voting behavior."

GOP Narrows Gap With Democrats In Party Affiliation

Posted Apr 28, 2010 at 1:30 AM by Maurice Berger

A recently released Gallup poll reports that Democrats now have the smallest advantage in political party affiliation in five years. During the first quarter of 2010, 46% of Americans identified as Democrats or leaned Democratic, while 45% identified as or leaned Republican.

Americans Loosing Faith With Politicians

Posted Apr 07, 2010 at 12:23 AM by Maurice Berger

A USA Today/Gallup poll reports that Americans are loosing faith with politicians--attitudes "are reminiscent of those in 1994 and 2006, when control of Congress switched from one party to the other." 28% pf respondents say most members of Congress deserve re-election , a record low. Both major parties have exceptionally low favorability ratings: 41% for Democrats and 42% for Republicans. The President is not exempt from this negativity: 26% saying he deserves "a great deal" of blame for the nation's economic troubles, double the percentage in July.

Obama's Decline In Public Approval: How Serious A Problem For Democrats in 2010

Posted Jan 22, 2010 at 1:35 AM by Maurice Berger

Republican pollster Frank Luntz fires a warning shot to Democrats in his analysis of the president's declining popularity. While his overall opinion of--and some of his ideas about--the seriousness of the dilemma now facing Democrats may be colored by ideology, two of his points about looming red flags are backed up by the results of a number of non-partisan public opinion surveys:

According to Gallup, Obama has suffered the greatest fall in approval of any elected president since the company started ongoing tracking during the Eisenhower administration. Obama came into office with the approval of two out of every three voters (67 percent) but ended his first year with just half the electorate (50 percent) offering a positive evaluation of his performance. Only the unelected Gerald Ford fared worse in the court of public opinion.

While the Republican brand has barely moved since its electoral disasters of 2006 and 2008 and remains unpopular, Democratic popularity has collapsed as well. Most surveys now have the GOP even or even slightly ahead in the generic congressional ballot, and Americans now see the Republicans to be as good if not better in handling the economy.

What Luntz fails to point out, however, is that the Republican brand is suffering as well: A new Public Policy Polling poll reports that only 19% of voters nationally are happy with the direction of the Republican Party, compared to 56% who are unhappy with it. Even more surprising--GOP voters are not particularly happy with the direction of their own party: just 35% support the direction of the party; 38% say they are unhappy.

Republicans’ Life Ratings Drop While Democrats’ Improve

Posted Jan 13, 2010 at 1:41 AM by Maurice Berger

According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, "throughout 2009, the percentages of Republicans and Democrats who rated their present and future lives highly enough to be classified as "thriving" were virtually equal . . . This trend stands in stark contrast to 2008, when Republicans were more likely to be thriving than were Democrats. Gallup measures life evaluation using the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale, which asks survey respondents to evaluate their present and future lives on a "ladder" scale."

Gallup continues: "When news of the financial services meltdown first broke in the waning days of the Bush administration in September 2008, 57% of Republicans and 38% of Democrats were classified as thriving. In November, the month of the presidential election, Republicans' life evaluations dropped much more sharply than Democrats' or independents'. Then in January 2009, the month Obama took office, life ratings among Democrats and independents rose more sharply than among Republicans. By February 2009, the thriving percentages among Republicans (44%) and Democrats (45%) were virtually identical."

Midterm Elections: Too Early To Tell

Posted Jan 08, 2010 at 2:20 AM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack suggests taking a look at this informative New York Times round table on the upcoming midterm elections. While certain political signs point to possibly significant Democratic loses (presidential job approval below 50%, shrinking Democratic partisan identification, a GOP lead on the Congressional Generic ballot), it is still too early to tell. An improved economy--and an uptick in job creation--could well benefit the Democrats (ten months is a relatively long time in the politics of the Internet age). Or continued stagnation may well add seats to the GOP column. Will shrinking Democratic turnout--relative to last year's wave of enthusiasm for candidate Obama--ultimately hurt the party in power or will Democrats, still weary from 8-years of George W. Bush, turn out in sufficient numbers to keep things stable? Click here for the complete NYT round table.

Republican Voters Now More Enthusiastic For 2010 Cycle

Posted Dec 23, 2009 at 1:32 AM by Maurice Berger

Are Democrats in trouble due to lack of enthusiasm? CQ Politics reports that "a national survey conducted jointly by a prominent pollster from each of the major parties underscored what has become a theme in the year before the midterm elections. Republicans and independent voters who now are leaning Republican are more fired up to vote in 2010 than Democratic voters . . . The poll of 1,000 Americans deemed likely to vote, taken Dec. 6-9, found that 77 percent of both Republican and independent respondents said they are extremely likely to vote in the 2010 elections. Among Democratic respondents, 64 percent said they are extremely likely to vote. This is worrisome for Democrats, as it is a flip of voters' political attitudes in the 2006 and 2008 elections, which saw them win and grow majorities in both chambers of Congress and capture the White House. The Democratic Party prospered over the past two election cycles because Republicans and Republican-leaning independents -- disappointed with President George W. Bush and the congressional GOP -- were less fired up to vote than Democrats seeking change."


Breakdown Of Obama's Approval Rating

Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 1:12 AM by Maurice Berger

A Pew Research Center survey offers a breakdown of Obama's approval status by race, age, gender, and political affiliation. At years end, it offers a snapshop of where the President stands with various groups. Fully 88% of non-Hispanic African Americans approve of Obama’s job performance, compared with 39% of non-Hispanic whites. Obama continues to draw broad support from his Democratic base: comparable percentages of liberal Democrats (85%) and conservative and moderate Democrats (82%) approve of the way he is handling his job. By contrast, Republicans overwhelmingly disapprove (19% approve vs. 73% disapprove); among conservative Republicans just 12% approve of Obama’s job performance while 82% disapprove.

Number of Democrats Falling

Posted Dec 10, 2009 at 1:07 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Rasmussen, "the number of Americans identifying themselves as Democrats fell by nearly two percentage points in November. Added to declines earlier in the year, the number of Democrats in the nation has fallen by five percentage points during 2009. In November, 36.0% of American adults said they were Democrats. That’s down from 37.8% a month ago and the lowest number of Democrats since December 2005 . . . The number of Republicans inched up by just over a point in November to 33.1%. That’s within the narrow range that Republicans have experienced throughout 2009 - from a low of 31.9% to a high of 33.6%."

Indepdendent Voters Made The Difference And Now Spell Trouble For The Democrats

Posted Nov 04, 2009 at 3:00 AM by Maurice Berger

President Obama's approval rating on election day was at 50%. This number suggests a problem for the Democrats, especially to the extend that it reflects a drop off in independent voter support. Indeed, it was the dramatic decline in the support of unaffiliated and independent voters that gave Republicans a decided advantage in Virginia and New Jersey. The situation with indepdendents was dire: Republican Christie won independent voters in New Jersey by 30 points (60%-30%); Obama won them 51%-47% last year. McDonnell in Virginia won indies by 33 points (66%-33%); Obama held a slight 49%-48% last year.With a nation closely divided between the two mainstream parties, independents can now tip the balance in states and localities where party registration is relatively even. In New Jersey, the message is even more dire for the Democrats: with Democrats enjoying a significant advantage in party identification, Jon Corzine still lost. Does this prefigure Democratic loses in the 2010 midterms? Hard to tell this early. But PollTrack will be watching independent voters--as well as the President's approval numbers--very closely in the coming months.

Democrats Loosing Steam?

Posted Oct 01, 2009 at 2:29 AM by Maurice Berger

A new analysis by Gallup suggests that the Democratic Party may be loosing a bit of steam, as the gap in party identification has narrowed considerably in recent months: " In the third quarter of this year, 48% of Americans identified politically as Democrats or said they were independent but leaned to the Democratic Party. At the same time, 42% identified as Republicans or as independents who leaned Republican. That six-point spread in leaned party affiliation is the smallest Gallup has measured since 2005." Here's is Gallup's tracking chart:

Party ID and Leaning, Quarterly Averages, 2005-2009

These results are based on an average of five Gallup and USA Today/Gallup polls conducted in the third quarter of 2009, encompassing interviews with more than 5,000 U.S. adults. Gallup's Daily tracking survey -- established in 2008 -- has shown a similar narrowing of the party support gap in recent months.

Democratic Edge In Party Affiliation Shrinks Dramatically

Posted Sep 04, 2009 at 2:03 AM by Maurice Berger

In another possibly negative sign for the Obama administration, Gallup reports that "in August, an average of 45% of Americans identified as Democrats or leaned to the Democratic Party, while 40% identified as Republicans or leaned to the Republican Party. This 5-point advantage represents a decided narrowing of the gap between the parties from the 17-point Democratic advantage in January." Here is Gallup's chart:


Overall, The US Is Trending Blue

Posted Aug 11, 2009 at 1:29 AM by Maurice Berger

A fascinating state-by-state study by Gallup suggests that American is growing increasingly Democratic: "An analysis of Gallup Poll Daily tracking data from the first six months of 2009 finds Massachusetts to be the most Democratic state in the nation, along with the District of Columbia. Utah and Wyoming are the most Republican states, as they were in 2008. Only four states show a sizeable Republican advantage in party identification, the same number as in 2008. That compares to 29 states plus the District of Columbia with sizeable Democratic advantages, also unchanged from last year." Here's Gallup's listing of the Bluest and Reddest states in the union:


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When It Comes To Perceptions About Economic Crisis, Sharp Partisan Differences

Posted Jul 01, 2009 at 1:35 AM by Maurice Berger

A Gallup poll reveals that when it comes to perceptions about the economy and the current economic crisis, sharp partisan differences prevail: "Republicans and Democrats view economic issues facing the country today from substantially different perspectives. Republicans are most likely to be worried about the increasing federal deficit, increasing federal income taxes, and problems state governments have in funding their budgets, while Democrats are most worried about the rising unemployment rate, Americans without health care insurance, and the increasing cost of health care. These results underscore the political tensions that have arisen as the Obama administration and Congress wrestle with how to fix the country's economic problems, while at the same time dealing with the longer-term impact of those efforts. Taken as a whole, Republicans are more concerned than Democrats about the impact of increased federal and state spending, and government regulation of business, while Democrats are more concerned about the societal problems that the increased spending and regulation are designed to address."

Here's a sampling of the top priorities by party affiliation:


GOP: The White Party?

Posted Jun 11, 2009 at 1:50 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup, the GOP is increasingly the party of white Americans: The survey reported that "more than 6 in 10 Republicans today are white conservatives, while most of the rest are whites with other ideological leanings; only 11% of Republicans are Hispanics, or are blacks or members of other races. By contrast, only 12% of Democrats are white conservatives, while about half are white moderates or liberals and a third are nonwhite. Gallup's analysis: 'Does the Republican Party in essence "stick to the knitting" and cling to its core conservative principles? Or should the Republicans make an effort to expand their base -- among whites who are moderate or less religious, and/or the various nonwhite groups who to this point are largely ignoring the Republican Party in favor of the Democrats? The decision the party makes in response to this question could be pivotal in helping determine its future.'"

Military Veterans Trend Republican

Posted Jun 02, 2009 at 2:49 AM by Maurice Berger

Consistent with early surveys, a Gallup Poll confirms that US military veterans trend Republican in their political orientation: "This Republican skew is at least minimally evident across all age groups, ranging from a 15-point difference in the percentage Republican between veterans and nonveterans in the 25-29 age group, to a 2-point difference in the 85+ group. . . For the entire adult population, 34% of veterans and those currently on active military service are Republican, compared to 26% of those who are not veterans, while 29% of veterans identify themselves as Democrats, compared to 38% of those who are not veterans. (Thirty-three percent of veterans are independents, compared to 29% of nonveterans.) . . . The current analysis shows that regardless of the underlying patterns of political identification that pertain at each age group, veterans (or those currently in the military) of all ages are more Republican and less Democratic than those who are not veterans."

Voters See Bi-Partisanship As A Fading Dream

Posted Mar 10, 2009 at 2:06 AM by Maurice Berger

Just about half of the nation's voters--49%--now believe politics in Washington will be more partisan over the next year. This number represents a 9% gain since early February and a 15% jump since early January: The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just "32% expect more cooperation between the two sides over the coming year. That’s down from 48% in January."

Rasmussen also reports a much smaller shift in perceptions of President Obama's governing style. 39% believe he is "governing on a bipartisan basis, down from 42% a month ago. The number who believe he is governing as a partisan Democrat has gone up four points to 43%. But more voters think that members of Congress from both political parties are more partisan than Obama. 50% of voters say congressional Republicans are acting in a partisan manner. 60% say that congressional Democrats are behaving as partisans."

Republicans Rate Poorly On The Economy

Posted Feb 27, 2009 at 1:04 AM by Maurice Berger

White President Obama continues to enjoy high approval on his handling of the economy and other problems facing the nation, the Republicans fare very poorly. A new ABC News/Washington Post Poll Reports that the Democratic Party leads the Republicans by 56-30 percent in trust to handle the country's main problems. "That has slightly improved from 56-23 percent in December, as congressional Republicans found a unified voice in opposition to the stimulus. But the December number was the Republicans' worst in ABC/Post polls since 1982; they still have far to climb."Additionally, the Democrats hold the edge in partisan affiliation: 36% in the poll identified themselves as Democrats, just 24% as Republicans. On average in 2003, by contrast, the parties were at parity, 31 percent apiece."

Democrats 2008 Party ID Largest Since the 1980s

Posted Feb 04, 2009 at 2:07 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup, an average of 36% of Americans identified themselves as Democrats and 28% as Republicans in 2008. That eight-point advantage is the largest for the Democratic Party since Gallup began regularly conducting its polls by telephone in 1988. Gallup notes: "The year-by-year trend shows that Democrats have gained ground against Republicans in each of the last five years, going from a deficit of two points in 2003 to the most recent eight-point advantage. Additionally, the 36% of Americans who identified as Democrats last year matches the high point in Democratic identification since 1988, when it was also 36%. But since fewer Americans identified as Republicans last year (28%) than in 1988 (31%), the Democratic advantage was larger in 2008."

Only Five States Remain Solidly Republican: UT, WY, ID, AK, NE

Posted Jan 30, 2009 at 1:29 AM by Maurice Berger

A new survey by the Gallup organization reports a national  electoral map that has grown markedly Democratic over the past few years: "An analysis of Gallup Poll Daily tracking data from 2008 finds Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Hawaii to be the most Democratic states in the nation, along with the District of Columbia. Utah and Wyoming are the most Republican states . . . What is immediately clear from the map is that residents of the United States were very Democratic in their political orientation last year. . . All told, 29 states and the District of Columbia had Democratic party affiliation advantages of 10 points or greater last year. This includes all of the states in the Northeast, and all but Indiana in the Great Lakes region. There are even several Southern states in this grouping, including Arkansas, North Carolina, and Kentucky. An additional six states had Democratic advantages ranging between 5 and 9 points. In contrast, only five states had solid or leaning Republican orientations in 2008, with Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Alaska in the former group, and Nebraska in the latter."

Partisan ID: Slight Gain For Democrats AND Republicans, But Dems Lead

Posted Dec 02, 2008 at 1:44 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Rasumssen survey reports that partisan identification is up for both parties since the election, but the Democrats continue to have a significant advantage: "In November, 41.4% of Americans considered themselves to be Democrats, 33.8% said they were Republicans, and 24.7% were not affiliated with either major political party. Both political parties registered slight gains since October when 40.3% of Americans were Democrats and 33.3% were Republican."