December 1, 2009

Days of Diminutive, Diminishing Democrats

Hatched by Dafydd

Rasmussen reports that the number of Democrats in the United States -- well, let's be specific... the number of folks willing to fess up to being Democrats -- is shrinking; it's now down to 36.0% of the population (rather, of the pool of respondents in the survey).

Back in 2008, Democrats hit a local peak of 41.7% in May; at the election, they were still 41.4%... and we all know how that turned out.

At the same time, Republicans crept up to 33.1%, leaving a shrinking gap of 2.9% (Democrats minus Republicans); that of course is the real statistic to pay attention to. In November 2006, Democrats enjoyed a 6.1% advantage over Republicans; in November 2008, the gap was 7.6%. (These are numbers for "all adults;" Republicans show up and vote at higher percentages than Democrats, so the gap shrinks somewhat during actual elections.)

In November 2004, however, the gap was only 1.6%... yet Republicans only gained 3 net seats in the House and 4 in the Senate. Let's hope that we do better a year from now.

Of course, if the Democrats keep slipping next year as they have this year -- from 40.9% down to 36.0%, while Republicans rose from 32.6% to 33.1%; the gap shrank from 8.3% to 2.9% -- if that trend continues (unlikely, but let's run with it), then by November 2010, Democrats would be down to 30.7%, Republicans would be up to 33.6%, and Republicans would actually enjoy an advantage of 2.9% -- the exact reverse of the gap right now.

Naturally, you cannot make straight-line projections of polling data; but it's fun to ponder!

In November (monthly tracking, not the daily tracking poll -- and we're back to "likely voters" on this one, not "all adults"), the overall approval rating of President Barack H. Obama was 48%; his overall disapproval rating was a majority, 52%; and his "approval index" -- that is, the number strongly approving minus the number strongly disapproving -- dropped again to -12%, 28% minus 40%. Note especially that while 52% disapprove, fully 40% strongly disapprove; that is, 77% of likely voters who disapprove of the Obamacle do so strongly.

There's a whole lotta head-shaking goin' on.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, December 1, 2009, at the time of 12:27 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Ken Hahn

I'm willing to bet the GOP will do better next year than in 2004 unless the national party does something really stupid between now and the election. I base this on the fact that in 2004 Republicans were defending a lot of marginal seats. They lost those in '06 and '08. The Democrats have a lot more seats that are competitive than they did before the last two elections.

Simply put, the GOP had to win Democrat leaning seats in '04, they only need to win Republican leaning or toss up seats to gain in '10.

The above hissed in response by: Ken Hahn [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 2, 2009 12:12 AM

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