The Democratic Party continues to hold a solid advantage in party support over the Republican Party, as 49% of Americans interviewed in the second quarter of this year identified with or leaned to the Democratic Party, compared with 40% who did so for the Republican Party. However, that nine-point Democratic advantage is smaller than the 13-point edge Gallup measured in the first quarter of the year.
The latest results are based on an average of the Gallup Poll stand-alone polls conducted in the second quarter of 2009, consisting of more than 5,000 interviews with U.S. adults. Gallup Poll Daily tracking shows a similar pattern of change from the first quarter to the second quarter.
The declining Democratic advantage is due more to a drop in Democratic support (from 52% to 49%) than to an increase in Republican support (from 39% to 40%).
The lessening Democratic advantage may to some degree reflect a return to more typical party support levels, because the 13-point Democratic edge from the first quarter is on the high end of what Gallup has found since it began tracking this measure of party identification in 1991.
More likely is that the Democrats have topped out – at least for now.
Independent voters have been increasing in California (even with closed primary elections) and in open primary states. There is really little incentive to register with one party or the other.
Also, note during the Bill Clinton early years, the GOP surged when it gained control of the House. Might the GOP see a comeback as a result of an Obama Administration?
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