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Poll: first time in history more likely voters have identified themselves as Republican as opposed to Democrat

From: Rasmussen Reports In November, 36.0% of American Adults identified themselves as Republicans; 34.7% considered themselves Democrats, and 29.3% were not affiliated with either major party. That’s the largest number of Republicans since February 2005 and the first time ever that Rasmussen Reports polling has found more people identifying as Republicans than Democrats. See the History of Party Trends from January 2004 to the present. In November 2008, following the presidential election, Democrats held a 7.6 percentage point advantage over the GOP. That means Republicans have picked up a net of approximately nine points over the past two years. That is a somewhat larger gain compared to the Democratic gains from the reelection of President Bush in 2004 to the Democratic takeover of Congress in 2006. However, it is similar to the gains recorded by Democrats during the four-year period from Election 2004 to Election 2008. In each of the recent election cycles, the victorious party has gained in net partisan identification over the course of the election year. It is worth noting, however, that the gains are often short-lived. Following Election 2004, the Republican partisan decline began in February 2005. In 2006, the Democratic edge began to decline as soon as they actually took control of Congress in January. Following President Obama’s victory in November 2008, the Democrat’s advantage in partisan identification peaked in December before declining. Another point worth noting is that the GOP has the edge today partly because the number of Democrats is barely above the lowest level ever recorded in eight years of monthly tracking by Rasmussen Reports. This supports the conclusion that Election 2010 was less a victory for the Republicans than a defeat for the Democrats. A majority of voters expect to be disappointed by the GOP Congress before 2012. Republican voters overwhelmingly believe Republicans in Congress are out of touch with the party’s base. Rasmussen Reports tracks this information based on telephone interviews with approximately 15,000 adults per month and has been doing so since November 2002. The margin of error for the full sample is less than one percentage point, with a 95% level of confidence. (Want a free daily e-mail update ? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook. On the eve of the elections last month, the number of Democrats temporarily surged. However, the November totals are virtually identical to the September totals. The biggest partisan gap advantage ever measured for Democrats was 10.1 percentage points in May 2008. In December 2008, the final full month of the Bush administration, the Democrats held an 8.8-percentage-point advantage. Between November 2004 and 2006, the Democratic advantage in partisan identification grew by 4.5 percentage points. That foreshadowed the Democrats’ big gains in the 2006 midterm elections. The gap grew by another 1.5 percentage points between November 2006 and November 2008 leading up to Obama’s election. The number of Democrats peaked at 41.7% in May 2008, and it was nearly as high – at 41.6% – in December 2008. The number of Democrats fell below the 40% mark in March 2009 and first fell below 36% in December of last year. Rasmussen Reports has been tracking this data monthly since November 2002. For the last two months, the number of Democrats in the country reached record lows of 35.0% and 34.6%. Prior to those surveys, the lowest level of identification with the Democrats had been 35.1%. For Republicans, the peak was way back in September 2004 at 37.3%. Since then, until this month, the number of Republicans has generally stayed between 31% and 34% of the nation’s adults. Keep in mind that figures reported in this article are for all adults, not likely voters. Republicans are a bit more likely to participate in elections than Democrats. The president’s approval rating has held fairly steady throughout 2010 as reflected in our month-by-month review. Republicans continue to hold an advantage on the Generic Congressional Ballot. Republicans continue to be trusted more than Democrats on most key issues. Data from our monthly partisan identification survey is used to set weighting targets for other Rasmussen Reports surveys. The targets are based on results from the previous three months.

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