On a day following the death of a great conservative Supreme Court jurist and with the potential for Obama to nominate a liberal replacement, Republicans need a skosh of good news.
[Source: Red States Outnumber Blue for First Time in Gallup Tracking, by Jeffrey M. Jones]
Gallup has not been tracking political party affiliation at the state level for very long – only eight years. Nonetheless, this is the first time in Gallup’s partisanship tracking by state that there have been more Republican than Democrat states. Gallup considers states to be solidly favoring one party when they have a greater-than 10-percentage-point advantage over the other in party affiliation among the state’s adult population.
But, of course, those eight years were the “Obama years.” A shift to the right is a good omen in this crucial presidential election year. It also constitutes a dramatic shift from 2008, when Democratic strength nationally was its greatest in recent decades. Recall the Democrat Party not only won the Presidency but majorities in both Houses of Congress and a “filibuster proof” majority in the Senate, as well. Liberal media of the day questioned whether the Republican Party was about to disintegrate. (Of course, the liberal media always opines that the Republican Party is “disintegrating.”)
It is still true that more American voters identify themselves as Democrat or leaning Democratic (43%) compared with those identifying as Republican or leaning Republican (40%) – independents are asked as to whether they lean Democrat or Republican Party. That preponderance of Democrats is largely because many of the most populous states, including California (don’t I know so well), New York and Illinois, are Democratically aligned.
Here are some of the conclusions from the Gallup survey:
- 20 states solidly or leaning Republican, 14 solidly or leaning Democratic
- Wyoming is the most Republican state; Vermont (“Hello,” Bernie) and Hawaii are the most Democrat
- Alabama and Idaho are most conservative states
- Among 16 states that are competitive, 10 have more identified Republicans than Democrats
For those readers who want more data, the footnote provides the survey findings.