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Partisan Trends: 35.1% Are Republicans, 34.3% Democrats

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The number of American Adults identifying themselves as Republicans fell for the second straight month in February. The number of Democrats fell as well.

Now, just 35.1% of Americans consider themselves to be Republicans. That’s down from 35.4% in January and 37.0% in December.

The number calling themselves Democrats fell to 34.3%. That’s down a bit from last month but up slightly from two months ago.

Two months ago, in December 2010, polling found the largest number of Republicans in the nation since December 2004 and the lowest number of Democrats ever recorded in Rasmussen Reports tracking since November 2002. While those extremes have not held, this is the fourth straight month that Rasmussen Reports polling has found more people identifying as Republicans than Democrats. Prior to November, that had never happened before. See the History of Party Trends from January 2004 to the present.

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 generally 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.

In January 2009, the month of Obama’s inauguration, 33% considered themselves Republicans, while 41% identified themselves as Democrats. 

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.     

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