Party preferences shift from Democrat to Republican in 2021

0
48
Party preferences shift from Democrat to Republican in 2021

​Americans’ political preferences shifted​ dramatically over 2021, swinging from a nine percentage-point lead for Democrats at the beginning of the year to ending with a five-point advantage for Republicans, according to a poll released Monday. ​

​In the first quarter of 2021, 49 percent of Americans said they identified as a Democrat or leaned Democratic, while 40 percent identified as Republican or leaned Republican, according to a Gallup survey. ​​

The Democrats’ lead over the GOP was the highest since the fourth quarter of 2012.​​

The percentage​ for Democrats remained unchanged at 49 percent going into the second quarter, but the percentage for Republicans ticked up three percentage points. 

Then in the third quarter, Republicans topped Democrats — 45 percent to 44 percent — a trend that continued through the final three months of 2021.​

Republicans ended the year with a 47 percent to 42 percent advantage over Democrats. ​

Donkey and Elephant pillows.
Gallup attributed the shifting preferences to the changing poll numbers over the year for President Biden and former President Donald Trump.
Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images

The reversal appears to track President Biden’s downward slide in the polls that began in July and August because of the disastrous US military withdrawal from Afghanistan and the sputtering economy — a decline that culminated in record low numbers for Biden by the end of the year. 

​The pollster noted that the GOP has held a five-point ​lead in only four quarters since it began measuring party identification in 1991, one of them occurring after the 1994 midterm elections when Republicans gained control of Congress for the first time since 1952.

Gallup attributed the shifting preferences to the changing poll numbers over the year for Biden and former President Donald Trump. 

Political affiliation quarterly average.
The Democrats’ first-quarter lead over Republicans was the highest since the fourth quarter of 2012.
Gallup
Political affiliation yearly averages.
Republicans have held a five-point ​lead in only four quarters since Gallup began measuring party identification in 1991.
Gallup

​​While Trump’s job approval ratings fell to 34 percent in January — the lowest of his term — Biden was enjoying ratings in the mid-50s after his inauguration on Jan. 20. ​​

By December, Biden’s job approval ratings had plummeted to around ​40 percent, brought down by a surge in coronavirus cases, increasing inflation and a stalled legislative agenda. 

The survey results are based on aggregated data from ​interviews with 12,000 randomly sampled adults during the year, Gallup said. 

Joe Biden.
President Biden’s approval ratings have plummeted due to a surge in coronavirus cases, increasing inflation and a stalled legislative agenda. 
Joshua Roberts/REUTERS

Source link