Rasmussen Reports has polled over 10,000 Americans each month for the past several election cycles and one of the basic questions the pollster asks is whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Other. The resulting average monthly responses are provided to Rasmussen platinum members. The new October 2012 report could be a game changer on election day.
In October 2004, before President George W. Bush comfortably won reelection, Democrats narrowly outnumbered Republicans 38.7% to 37.2% (1.5%).
In October 2006, before the Democrats took Congress, Democrats more substantially outnumbered Republicans 37.7% to 31.5% (6.2%). The number of Democrats did not increase, but nearly 6% of formerly GOP voters switched self identification to Independent.
In October 2008, before Barack Obama decisively won the presidency and the Democrats as supermajority in Congress, Democrats expanded their advantage over Republicans 40.3% to 33.3% (7.1%). This shift was driven by an expansion of voters self identifying Democrat rather than any shrinkage of the GOP.
2008 was the high tide for Democrat self identification.
In October 2010, before the voters fired the Democrat House and a number of Democrat senators in the largest wave election since 1946, the Democrat lead over Republicans shrank to nearly 2004 levels – 36.3% to 33.4% (2.9%). The number of Republicans did not increase, but nearly 4% of formerly Democrat voters switched self identification to Independent. The GOP decisively won the 2010 wave election largely because the expanding number of Independents switched their votes to Republican candidates.
By December 2011, the GOP took a narrow lead in party self identification among voters.
Last month, on the eve of the 2012 election, the number of voters self identifying Republican exploded to 39.1% compared to 33.3% self identifying Democrats, a 5.8% lead. This is the largest number of Republicans and the largest Republican lead Rasmussen has ever polled.
Essentially, the 2012 GOP is nearly in same position the 2008 Democrats, Republican voters tend to turn out in greater numbers and Independents are still breaking for GOP candidates. The GOP enjoys a far superior comparative advantage over the Democrats than the party had during it’s victories in 2004 and 2010.
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