But the real jaw dropper is when independents are asked which party they lean toward. This is important because historically, independents who lean toward a party tend to vote almost as consistently for that party as those who identify themselves with the party.
There are just some people who like to call themselves independents but, functionally speaking, are really partisans. In this category of leaners, Democrats had an advantage of 1.3 points in 2001. The parties were within the margin of error in 2002, when four-tenths of a point separated them and in 2003, when there was just a one-tenth of a point difference.
In 2004, Democrats had a 2.7 point advantage, and it grew to 4.4 points in 2005.
But in 2006, this category exploded to a 10.2-point advantage for Democrats: 50.4 percent for Democrats, 40.2 percent for Republicans.
The remaining 9.4 percent did not lean toward either party.
This 10.2-point advantage is the biggest lead either party has had since Gallup began tracking the leaners in 1991.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Looks like competence does make a difference... people actually are starting to care about results as opposed to rhetoric.