For the first time in the history of it asking the question, Gallup polling has found that more registered voters favor the Republicans than the Democrats. Although the difference is just 44/43, this represents an 11 point drop in favorability for the “Democrat brand” since 2008. It is the Democrats worst pre-convention rating since 1992.
Moreover, in the years since Barack Obama took office, the Party identification of registered voters has shown a steep drop for the Democrats. At their highest level, the Democrats surpassed Republicans by an eye-popping 53/34. Now Gallup’s survey of those claiming to be “registered voters” shows that gap has all been wiped away. Counting “leaners”, it is now just 44/43 in favor of the Democrats.
Since Obama’s election, Democrats have fallen 24 points in overall favorability; but among Independents, Democrats have slid from 47% to 35% and now stand 3 points below Republicans.
How this translates to likely voter self-identify to both Parties is explained by a newly-released survey by Rasmussen.
Rasmussen reports that more registered likely voters self-identify as Republicans (37.6%) than at any time in the brief time they have been asking the question. This gives the GOP a 4.3 point lead over the Democrats who are now less than a point above their historic low.
These numbers have not been inconsequential in the past. At the time of the Republicans’ 2010 landslide that saw them win 63 seats, Republican self-identification was a scant 1.3 points higher than the Democrats. Fundamentals such as these have always been positive signs for the electoral chances of the Party enjoying them.
Of course, all of these numbers rest on people actually registering to vote. Clearly, more Americans are registering as Republicans, but an examination of the registration patterns in the swing state of Florida helps explain how Republicans have leapfrogged to the top.
In the thirteen months from July 2011 to the end of August 2012, the Democrats in Florida registered 1000 – yes 1000 – new voters. At the same time, Republicans in the Sunshine State registered 118,000 new voters. There are several positive signs for the Republicans at this point.
Photo Credit: Donkey Hotey (Creative Commons)