Over at Hot Air, Ed Morrissey offers some analysis of a recent Gallup poll on party identification at the state level. The poll shows that the trend of fewer people self-identifying with Democratic Party continues. Follow the link for the detailed numbers but the Gallup conclusions are as follows.
Democrats’ advantage in party identification continues to dwindle this year. Fewer Americans identify as Democrats, and more say they don’t identify with or lean toward either party. On a state-by-state level, this means more states are now classified as competitive or leaning/solidly Republican than has been the case over the past two years, and fewer as leaning/solidly Democratic.
Some shift toward independent party identification is to be expected in the years between presidential elections; in presidential election years, party allegiance tends to be at its height. The key finding at this juncture is that Democrats, not Republicans, have been the net losers as Americans shift away from the major parties.I’m a little skeptical of the numbers, myself, as they indicate that Texas is a competitive state. Does anyone really think Texas isn’t at least “leans Republican”?
Morrissey’s comments focus on the sampling choices Gallup used for this particular poll.
The sample is the key. Gallup did not ask for registered or likely voters, but instead opted for the wider but less accurate sampling technique. We have a basis of comparison as well, the 2008 election. Gallup showed Democrats with a 12-point advantage in the general population, but Obama only won the popular vote by seven points — and that was with the help of Republican crossovers. The general-population sample overstates Democratic support in actual elections, even the one with massive turnout that propelled Obama into the White House.
The four-point advantage today, therefore, looks pretty thin. Among registered voters, it’s probably dead even or perhaps a negative number.This poll is just one more brush stroke in the painting of a strong midterm election for the Republican Party. But as Glenn Reynolds reminds us, don’t get cocky. While current indications are indeed positive don’t forget about Angle/Reid situations that muddy the waters.