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Party ID Splits

To any lingering confusion about the partisan makeup of the new Post-ABC national poll: The breakdown on party identification is in-line with what it's been in recent polls, and close to what it is in other public polls.

The McCain campaign yesterday reported that our poll has a 16-point Democratic advantage on "party id," comparing it with single-digit margins in other polling. But the comparison is inapt. We, and others, ask people their typical party identification, then follow-up with non-partisans about whether they "lean" toward the Democratic Party or the GOP. The 16-point margin is from the combination of those two questions.

The new poll's actual, single-question party splits among both registered voters and likely voters are right around their 2008 averages. ABC's Gary Langer provides all the data here, and we attempted to correct the record here.

We release information about party identification, including aggregated responses to both questions, as part of our standard disclosure available alongside each poll at www.washingtonpost.com/polls. Our release document has not previously included the breakdown among likely voters; we will adjust that. We will also amend the label on the combined results to minimize the chances that it will be mischaracterized.

By Jon Cohen  |  September 25, 2008; 11:08 AM ET
 
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