Democrats hold largest party identification gap over Republicans since 2012: poll

Democrats hold the largest advantage over Republicans in party identification in nearly nine years, according to a new Gallup poll released Wednesday.

The survey found that 49 percent of adult respondents say they identify as Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents, while 40 percent identify as Republicans or GOP-leaning independents. The 9-point edge is the largest for Democrats since the fourth quarter of 2012. Democratic advantages since that time have typically hovered between 4 and 6 points.

Of the 49 percent of voters identifying more closely with Democrats, 30 percent said they were Democrats and 19 percent said they were independents who leaned more toward the party. Twenty-five percent of respondents said they were Republicans, while 15 percent were independents who leaned more toward the GOP.

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The vast majority of the remaining 11 percent of respondents identified as independents with no partisan tilt. 

The poll was taken during the first quarter of 2021, which overlapped with the deadly insurrection on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, President BidenJoe BidenBiden nominates Mark Brzezinski to be U.S. ambassador to Poland 10 dead after overloaded van crashes in south Texas Majority of New York state Assembly support beginning process to impeach Cuomo: AP MORE’s Jan. 20 inauguration and the passage of a sweeping $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

Democrats’ identification advantage is the highest the party’s held since early 2009, the last time they had a double-digit edge during the waning days of the George W. Bush administration. 

Republicans had brief identification advantages during successful midterm cycles in 1994, 2010 and 2014.

The poll comes as both parties gear up for a contentious midterm cycle in which control over both the House and the Senate are up for grabs. Democrats control the lower chamber by a five-seat margin and hold a narrow 50-50 majority in the upper chamber. Republicans were able to make gains in the 2014 midterms despite deficits in voter identification in 2012 and 2013. 

The Gallup poll surveyed 3,960 adults from January through March and has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.