Democrats: thenew hotness.
In September 2004, as the nation prepared to re-elect George W. Bush and a Republican majority in Congress, the GOP had pulled just about even with Democrats in terms of party affiliation. At that time, 37.9% of Americans considered themselves Democrats while 37.3% considered themselves Republicans. That was the GOP’s best performance of 2004 and reflected a net gain of three percentage points in six months.
This time around, the trends are heading in the opposite direction. During September 2006, 37.0% consider themselves Democrats and just 32.2% identify with the GOP. That’s a net advantage of 4.8 percentage points for the Democrats and presents a much different political environment from the last election cycle. Not only that, this time around, it’s the Democrats who are gaining ground. They’ve gained a net three percentage points since the beginning of 2006.
Overall, the number of Democrats is similar to 2004, but the number of Republicans has declined significantly. Today, 30.7% are not affiliated with either major party. That’s up from 24.8% two years ago.