A Democratic trend in party ID

Two recent surveys provide some interesting perspectives on party identification in the country.

A Rasmussen Reports monthly survey found that 33.6 percent of respondents said they were Republicans in February, up from 32.6 percent in January. The same percentage of respondents, almost 41 percent, identified as Democrats.

But, in the long term, the country appears to be trending Democrat. Rasmussen has compiled a chart of party identification since January of 2004. The percentages per party haven't changed very much but the gap between the two parties has grown. While the percentage of Democrats has risen, the percentage of Republicans has stayed remarkably stagnant. The percentage of respondents that identified as Democrats has gone up about four percentage points, from 36.9 percent to 40.8 percent. But the percentage of Republicans has only declined one percentage point, from 34.6 percent to 33.6 percent.

This is due to a decline in the number of respondents that identified as "other," or presumed independents. For all the talk of the end of partisanship, that number has declined three percentage points, from 28.5 percent to 25.6 percent.

The New York Times/CBS Poll also finds a positive trend for Democrats. That poll found that more respondents identified as Democrats than Republicans by 10 percentage points (38 to 28), which the Times said is the largest identification gap in 24 years. (Here's a chart of the Times' results.)

jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com