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Partisan Trends: Number of Republicans Declines
September 1, 2006

The number of Americans calling themselves Republican has fallen to its lowest level in more than two-and-a-half years. Just 31.9% of American adults now say they're affiliated with the GOP. That's down from 37.2% in October 2004 and 34.5% at the beginning of 2006. These results come from Rasmussen Reports tracking surveys of 15,000 voters per month and have a margin of sampling error smaller than a percentage point.

The number of Democrats has grown slightly, from 36.1% at the beginning of the year to 37.3% now.

Those who claim to be unaffiliated have increased to 30.8% this month. That's the highest total recorded since Rasmussen Reports began releasing this data in January 2004.

Add it all together and the Democrats have their biggest net advantage—more than five percentage points—since January 2004.  In the first month of 2006, the Democrats' advantage was just 1.6 percentage points.  Last month, 32.8% of adults said they were Republicans and 36.8% identified themselves as Democrats.

While the party affiliation trends continue moving in the Democrats' direction, the battle for control of the Senate keeps getting closer. Our September 1 update of the Senate Balance of Power summary shows Republicans likely to emerge from Election 2006 with 50 seats, Democrats with 47, and 3 in the Toss-Up category.

The President's Job Approval ratings continue to hover around the 40% mark and voters everywhere believe the political system is badly broken.

Please keep in mind that figures reported in this article are for all adults, not Likely Voters. Republicans typically do a bit better among Likely Voters (in fact, the two parties ended up even among those who showed up to vote in 2004).

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