Three recent data points in Colorado, North Carolina, and nationally give an indication that party id has gone down for Democrats, up for independents, and has stayed static for Republicans over the course of 2009.
Our most recent Colorado poll found 39% Republicans, 36% Democrats, and 26% independents. Our final pre election poll there last fall found the same 39% of Republicans, but was 42% Democrats and only 19% independents.
Similar story in North Carolina. Last poll in November we had 49% Democrats, 38% Republicans, and just 13% independents. Our latest was 44% Democrats, 37% Republicans, and 20% independents.
This is why you don't weight every poll for the next four years after an election to whatever the party id breakdown was in a state on the previous Presidential election day. Party id shifts, and it can shift a fair amount quickly.
What's ironic is that the same conservatives who blasted practically every poll we put out last year because they showed a party ID breakdown more Democratic than had been the case in 2004 would probably rip our heads off in this political climate if we decided to weight every poll to the November 2008 party ID breakdown, even though that's only 10 months in the rear view mirror instead of 4 years.
I'll take a look at the shift we've found nationally and what's causing it tomorrow.