Democrats have the biggest advantage over Republicans in identifying parties in nearly nine years, according to a new Gallup poll released Wednesday.
The poll found that 49 percent of adult respondents say they identify as either Democrats or Democrat-minded independents, while 40 percent identify as Republican or Republican-minded independents. The 9-point lead is the largest for Democrats since the fourth quarter of 2012. The Democrats’ lead since then has ranged from 4 to 6 points.
Of the 49 percent of voters who most closely identified 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 those surveyed said they were Republicans, while 15 percent were independents who leaned more toward the Republican Party.
The vast majority of the remaining 11 percent of those surveyed identified as nonpartisan-minded independents.
The survey was conducted during the first quarter of 2021, which coincided with the deadly insurrection on Capitol Hill on January 6. President BidenJoe Biden Irish Ship Linked to Espionage Attacked at Sea Biden Exceeds Vaccine Expectations: So Far Jill Biden Will Visit Alabama With Actress Jennifer Garner MOREthe January 20 inauguration and approval of a $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package.
Democrats’ ID advantage is the highest the party has had since early 2009, the last time they had a double-digit advantage during the last days of the George W. Bush administration.
Republicans had brief identification advantages during the successful midterm cycles of 1994, 2010 and 2014.
The poll comes as both parties prepare for a controversial midterm cycle in which control of both the House and Senate is at stake. Democrats control the lower house by a five-seat margin and have a narrow 50-50 majority in the upper house. Republicans made progress in the 2014 midterm elections despite deficits in voter identification in 2012 and 2013.
The Gallup poll surveyed 3,960 adults from January to March and has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.