Losing ground

LOSING GROUND…. There have been plenty of recent polls showing the number of Americans willing to identify themselves as Republican dropping to lows unseen in decades. But late yesterday, Gallup released a more detailed look at this decline, noting that the GOP has lost ground with practically every demographic in the country.

The decline in Republican Party affiliation among Americans in recent years is well documented, but a Gallup analysis now shows that this movement away from the GOP has occurred among nearly every major demographic subgroup. Since the first year of George W. Bush’s presidency in 2001, the Republican Party has maintained its support only among frequent churchgoers, with conservatives and senior citizens showing minimal decline.

The results, taken from months of surveys totaling 7,000 adult respondents, are striking. The Republican Party has lost ground in every region, every age group, every ethnicity, every income level, every educational level, every ideology, and both genders. The drop off was strongest among college graduates (down 10%), Americans under 30 (down 9%), Americans making under $75,000, Midwesterners, and self-identified moderates.

Among frequent churchgoers, the GOP broke even, maintaining the same level of support from 2001. The drop off among African Americans and Latinos was modest, but only because Republicans fared poorly with these voters before and limited room to drop further.

Which groups showed GOP gains? There weren’t any.

The news for Democrats was far more encouraging. In 2001, respondents were asked for their party affiliation, and independents were encouraged to pick one of the two major parties. Democrats had the narrowest of leads over the GOP, 45% to 44%. This year, Dems are up to 53%, while Republicans have slipped to 39%.

The Republican base — which is to say, the only voters who are leaving the party slower after the last eight years — includes frequent churchgoers, self-identified conservatives, and voters 65 and older.

If this doesn’t scare GOP leaders, they’re just not paying attention.