Friday, July 31, 2009

Party ID and the Obama decline

Barack Obama's approval is clearly on the decline and there's been a lot of bad polling recently for Democrats related to 2009 and 2010 races but one thing that doesn't seen to be changing concurrently is the nation's party identification breakdown.

If you look at this handy chart keeps of party id among registered and likely voters, it's basically flat since January. Overall Democrats have a 38-31 advantage over Republicans, almost unchanged from the 39/32 spread exit polls showed nationally on election day in November.

So if there's no party id shift but Dems are polling poorly, what's going on? Two things:

1) Independents aren't reacting as well to Democrats now as they were a year or six months ago, which is not surprising. They'll be back with us this time next year if there's significant progress on the economy and if not they probably won't.

2) Republicans are getting hyper partisan. We are frequently finding approval ratings of less than 15% among them for Obama and some Governors and Senators in our state by state polling. It's usually not that low.

Given the fact that there hasn't been a major shift in the partisan landscape Democrats will be fine next year if they can get their folks out and get back to the break even point with independents. Of course that might be easier said than done- sure isn't happening in New Jersey and Virginia right now.


Reed Shaw said...

"They'll be back with us this time next year"

you say "us" as in Democrats. Is PPP partisan?

Anonymous said...

Here are 3 points about Obama and Party ID.
1. Alot of the independents are former Republicans that left because of the Bush years. Bush and the GOP grew government and didn't control spending. They are going back now that Obama is spending alot more money.

2. Alot of people in the south remain registered as Democrats but vote Republican alot. Which can close the gap.

3. Obama's approval rating doesn't matter until 2012. Three years is along time in politics.

This is still a deeply divided country. The GOP will bounce back. One party never rules forever in a 2 party system. Something bad will happen while the Democrats are in control.

Tom Jensen said...

PPP only works for Democratic clients, although our public polling is very neutral.

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