Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Republicans Overtook Democrats In 2021 As Share Of Americans Identifying With GOP Shot Up, Poll Finds


The biggest shift was among Independents: the share of Democratic-leaning Independents went from 19% to 14% over the course of 2021, while those identifying as Republican-leaning Independents went up from 15% to 19%.

More Americans still identified as Democrats or said they lean Democratic than as Republicans on average in 2021—with 46% versus 43%—though that’s slightly closer than in 2020, when 48% were Democrats and 43% were Republicans.

Most Americans identified as Independents when that was included as an option, however: 42% considered themselves an Independent on average in 2021, versus 29% Democrat and 27% Republican.

Americans have traditionally leaned more Democratic than Republican since Gallup started surveying party leaning in 1991, the pollster notes, with the exception of 1991, when Republicans held a significant advantage. The two parties also registered “roughly equal levels of support” in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2010 and 2011, Gallup reports. Americans’ dramatic shift in their party affiliation over 2021 may have been linked to presidential approval rating, the pollster speculated. GOP President Donald Trump left office in January with a record low approval rating of 34%, according to Gallup, while incoming President Joe Biden had a 57% approval rating as of January 2021. Biden’s approval rating has plunged over the course of the year, however, as issues like the president’s handling of the situation in Afghanistan and the administration’s Covid-19 response resulted in an approximately 43% approval rating as 2021 came to an end, per Gallup. The increasing share of Republicans was also reflected in the 2021 elections, which saw Republicans winning major races like Virginia’s gubernatorial race and a closer-than-expected Democratic win for governor in New Jersey.

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