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Posted at 3:35 PM ET, 01/ 5/2011

Bad news day for Democrats

By Jennifer Rubin

On top of the official passing of the gavel from Nancy Pelosi to John Boehner, Democrats had this bit of rotten news to ponder:

In 2010, 31% of Americans identified as Democrats, down five percentage points from just two years ago and tied for the lowest annual average Gallup has measured in the last 22 years. While Democrats still outnumber Republicans by two points, the percentage identifying as independents increased to 38%, on the high end of what Gallup has measured in the last two decades.

But the real news is the degree to which Republicans have won over, at least for now, independents:

Perhaps equally significant is that the percentage of Americans identifying as Republicans has increased only slightly to 29% during this time, and remains on the low end of what Gallup has measured the past two decades.

Nevertheless, 2010 was a good year for Republicans, given the party's major gains in the midterm elections. Those gains were in part driven by the party's appeal to independents, evident in the strong support for Republican congressional candidates among independent voters.

Independents' increasing affinity for the GOP is also evident in a separate measure of party affiliation Gallup tracks, which takes into account the party leanings of independents. In 2010, 45% of Americans identified as Democrats or said they were independent but leaned toward the Democratic Party, while 44% identified as Republicans or said they were independent but leaned Republican. The 1-point Democratic advantage is the party's smallest since 2003, when the parties were even, and represents a sharp decline from the record 12-point Democratic advantage in 2008.

Republicans should be wary, however. Just as quickly as they gained independent followers, they can lose those voters if they fail to live up to their promises on spending, the debt and transparent government. As for Democrats, they should engage in some self-reflection about playing to the most liberal elements in their base.

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 5, 2011; 3:35 PM ET
Categories:  House GOP  
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Cutting spending is all well and good when it's a debating point. However as every Republican administration and Congress have found out, actual implementation has a tendency to split the party badly into competing constituencies!

Posted by: 54465446 | January 5, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

So the public is punishing the Democrats for the predicament they are in. Who are they going to punish in 2012?

Posted by: AndreDeAngelis | January 5, 2011 6:36 PM | Report abuse

In the "HER BEST FRIEND SHOULD TELL HER DEPT.", this from ABC News today:

"ABC News has learned that Bachmann, R-Minn., also is seriously weighing whether to seek the Republican nomination for president in 2012.

A source close to the three-term congresswoman said Bachmann will travel to Iowa this month for multiple meetings to seek advice from political forces there and party elders close to the caucus process before coming to a final decision regarding a potential presidential run. Bachmann, a native of Waterloo, Iowa, also is set to deliver a keynote speech at an Iowans for Tax Relief PAC fundraiser Jan. 21 in Des Moines"

Somewhere in a closed West Wing office that is far away from the Press Room, they are ROLLING on the floor laughing! You gotta believe this is worth millions in addtional fundraising money for the Democrats.

I'm really seriously starting to believe that today is the absolute high-water mark for the GOP, and the Tea Party in particular.

Posted by: 54465446 | January 5, 2011 6:45 PM | Report abuse

"Somewhere in a closed West Wing office that is far away from the Press Room, they are ROLLING on the floor laughing! You gotta believe this is worth millions in addtional fundraising money for the Democrats."

And those in that office have proven to be such strategic genuises up until this point!

"I'm really seriously starting to believe that today is the absolute high-water mark for the GOP, and the Tea Party in particular."

If I had a dollar for every time this sentiment has been uttered over the past two years the Democrats would want to raise my taxes.

"So the public is punishing the Democrats for the predicament they are in. Who are they going to punish in 2012?"

Still the Democrats--they will comprise most of the Senators up for re-election and they and Obama will have spent two years defending the wretched, and increasingly obviously wretched, health care law.

Posted by: adam62 | January 5, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse


We disagree. Pretty normal for you and me.

Unfortunately we'll have to wait nearly two years to find out if I'm right. Actually I'm not sure whether I would vote R or D in 2012, though a lifelong D, I've gone R in the past. I just can't imagine anybody under any circumstances voting for Bachmann. I consider the above trial balloon to be an indication that this whole Tea Party thing has gotten totally out of hand.

Even if she enters the race it's a problem for the other candidates because they will all have to more farther and farther to the right to eliminate her.

We would of course disagree, but I think
Romney has already killed his candidacy by the God-awful pandering he has done this last year. Who's next to immolate themselves?

Posted by: 54465446 | January 5, 2011 9:41 PM | Report abuse

If we disagree here, it is over the acuity of White House strategists, not the candidacy of Romney, or, for that matter, Bachmann. For the record, I'm hoping for a wide open Republican primary and survival of the fittest. Let anyone who wants to give it a shot.

Posted by: adam62 | January 5, 2011 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused. Could right matters please provide us with some examples of all the liberal things that President Obama has done in the last two years that were contradictory to the promises he offered up as candidate? From my perspective, it looks like the Obama Administration has done nothing but disappoint the "most liberal elements of their base". He campaigned on letting the rich tax cuts expire, creating a public option, getting comprehensive immigration reform & cap and trade passed, and he couldn't get them done. He really has governed to the right of the man he presented himself as in the campaign. And the American people elected him in a real squeaker of an election, memory serves he got past McCain by a nose in '08, with 360 to 160 in the electoral college. Somehow the Right in this country, Right Matters included, remembers things differently. To them Barack Obama ran promising to be the second coming of Reagan, and continue all of Bush's policies, and then he shocked and horrified us all by being the most liberal person who has ever existed on God's green Earth. Its a great story, it really is. And like so much of what the right puts out these days, it isn't at all true.

Posted by: Scubergmu | January 6, 2011 12:00 AM | Report abuse

I have been commenting on this for weeks now. Obama & Company have accomplished something that even Ronald Reagan could not. Obama has made conservatives the largest ideological group in America. That is amazing!

Obama is the bizarro world Reagan. His exact opposite in every way. Where Reagan tried to gently convince Americans that conservativism was the best way for America to remain great and led by example, Obama has shown us the horrors of liberalism run amok.

B.O. has turned America more conservative by giving us shock treatment. A violent jolt to bring most of us to our senses.

Obama and his lickspittle 'crats are the best things to happen to Republicans/conservatives since forever.

And, the worst of the lot are so well entrenched that they will continue to benefit Republicans for years to come.

The worst thing that could happen is for the hapless, Democrat leaders to come to their senses and purge their leftist loons. That would bring the Democrat party out of the wilderness more often.

Posted by: battleground51 | January 6, 2011 6:43 AM | Report abuse


As I wrote above, enjoy your day in the sunshine, for all glory is fleeting.

Posted by: 54465446 | January 6, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Battleground lives in the bizarro world he likes to write about. Reagan managed to triple the deficit while in office while at the same time raising taxes and robbing the Social Security Trust Fund. What a great conservative ! Meanwhile on the first day of a House with Repubs in control, they renig on their contract with America and say " oh my it is not really possible to reduce the budget by $100 Billion this year " When the voters finally figure out again that the Repubs are the biggest liars in political history maybe 2012 will be better for Dems.

Posted by: Falmouth1 | January 7, 2011 9:09 AM | Report abuse

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