Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Gallup: Republicans Even More Unpopular

A new Gallup poll shows only Five States (Alaska, Alabama, Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho) with very strong Republican voter identification.  Meanwhile Thirty-Seven States show up either strongly or leaning Democratic in voter identification, with the remaining states as competitive battlegrounds.  This is based on a series of statewide polls about voter identification since late  ’08.  Identification with the GOP continues to decline since the election, even though unemployment is high and Pres. Obama’s popularity has (somewhat) declined. (I think the left is restless with Obama, so his decline in popularity does NOT translate automatically into support for GOP policies.) Now, since voter identification is more stable than popularity polls, this is TERRIBLE news for Republicans.  It’s not impossible for the GOP to reverse, but it puts them in a deep hole as a national party. After all, if we take this as a baseline in a presidential race, it means that Democrats begin with 350 electoral votes (needing only 270 to win the White House) and the GOP begin with only 15 electoral votes!!!

Unless they can change that rather drastically in 3 and 1/2 years, Dems will win reelection in ’12 in a landslide bigger than any thing seen since Reagan’s ’84 victory over Mondale.  Birther conspiracies, “tea parties,” claiming that healthcare reform is a secret plan to kill off senior citizens–these do not seem to me to be ways back to the mainstream of the country.

Now Congressional races are different.  Local politics, personalities, local issues all can trump party identification. But in presidential races, voters tend to vote as registered by over 90%.

UPDATE:  Two thoughts:  1) The best thing Democratic candidates, elected officials, and strategists can do with this study is to FORGET IT and run every race as if they are underdogs.  Not long after Karl Rove claimed in ’04 that Democrats were no longer a national party and Tom DeLay said that Republicans had created a “permanent  national majority,” it all fell apart. If Democrats run and govern with pride and arrogance and without paying attention to the public, they will fall as quickly as the GOP did beginning in early ’05.  2) Greens and Libertarians should look at this as a major opportunity.  They should only run token presidential candidates, but concentrate on party-building and on winning local and state elections and then House members.  If the GOP goes the way of the Whigs (which could take awhile–the Whigs lasted 25 more years after their last presidential win), the Libertarians would be poised to become a national conservative party. Or, if the GOP dies and the Democrats split, the Greens could be poised to make common cause on many issues with the Progressive Democrats.  Or all of the above.


August 3, 2009 - Posted by | U.S. politics


  1. Agreed. An agenda that addresses healthcare, the long term economy, and preserving the environment, and a workable foreign policy that doesn’t solely consist of a unilateral military solution and isolationism is the answer. Labels and wild eyed opposition with no offered solutions will get them nowhere.

    Comment by Ralph | August 3, 2009

  2. Is it any wonder that the GOP is taking such a hit? They appear to have no new ideas and they harp on subjects best left alone. Like I have said previously, if they keep up this “birther” nonsense and bashing Obama at every turn it is going to reach out and bite them ! Remember the Whigs ? Take note Republicans.

    Comment by Paul | August 4, 2009

  3. The GOP is going to wind up hunkered down in a bunker in the hills of Montana if they keep up that same old obstructionist tactics. We’ll go visit them as an historic relic community, as they cling to their weapons caches and deny global warming.


    Comment by christianliberal | August 4, 2009

  4. Wow!! Texas not solidly Republican anymore. Great news! I know that our good haired governor has ticked off a lot of Republicans I know with his assinine secession remarks. Keep on talkin’ governor Perry! Maybe he’ll sink this ship all by himself.

    Comment by Marty | August 5, 2009

  5. Texas has been slowly moving from deep “red” to purple. There have been demographic shifts that favor Democrats: increasing Latino population, rising white collar employment (with increasing education levels) not just in the traditionally liberal Austin but in Dallas and Houston which attracts newcomers from outside the state. In addition, Democratic activists have been working to out-organize the GOP. Best estimates are that, if trends continue unabated (and if Democrats can field strong candidates), Texas should be a hotly contested swing state in both ’10, ’12, and ’16 and that, by 2020, if trends continue, etc., Texas should be reliably Democratic.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | August 5, 2009

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