Gallup has an interesting poll out this morning, indicating that the tide has shifted, and the Democratic numbers are growing.
An average of 47% of Americans identified as Democrats or said they were independents who leaned Democratic in 2012, compared with 42% who identified as or leaned Republican. That re-establishes a Democratic edge in party affiliation after the two parties were essentially tied in 2010 and 2011.
The swing seems to primarily come from the middle, with independents leaning closer to the left.
The new Democratic advantage is mostly due to an increased proportion of Democratic-leaning independents and a decreased proportion of Republican-leaning independents. Thus, the movement comes almost exclusively among Americans with weaker attachments to the political parties.
With all the talk after the before, during and after the election of a third party possibility, how will these numbers factor into strategy for both parties moving forward? As Gallup indicates, political ‘independents’ are steadily increasing in number. As many of my conservative colleagues are already aware, the GOP needs to look closely at refining their message to appeal to these independents. The question is, is the GOP prepared to do that?
I personally feel that until the GOP gets in line with grassroots organizations instead of considering them opposition, these independent numbers will continue to grow, or worse, deviate to the left.