According to the latest Rasmussen Poll, 21% — more than one in five — Democrats have abandoned the Party since Obama’s election as president. While most have become Independents, identification with the Republican Party has also risen not only since 2008 but also even since the GOP’s 2010 victory.
Rasmussen, who tracks voters’ party identification (self-described) every month, shows that Democratic Party identification, has dropped by eight points (or 21%) since Obama’s election in November, 2008 while Republican Party identification has risen by three points over the same period. Despite speculation in the liberal media that the Republicans in Congress have mishandled their mandate since winning the House in 2010, the Republican edge over the Democratic Party has grown from 1.3% in November of 2010 to 2.7% in December of 2011.
Changes in party identification are the most fundamental – and important – measure of political opinion in the country. They are like tectonic plates that shift beneath the surface of the political earth, sending quakes through the system. A shift of such an order of magnitude will rank high on the political Richter scale in 2012.
So dramatic a shift, totaling eleven points since Obama’s election (Dems down by 8, Republicans up by 3) means that had Obama faced McCain in the current political environment, he would have won by five rather than losing by six.
But even that doesn’t tell the story. Surveys of Independents find that they have long since jumped from the Obama ship. His job approval among Independents consistently ranks in the low 30s. He cannot expect much relief from that corner.
All these stats point to a mammoth upset in the making in the 2012 election, sweeping Republicans into the White House and delivering control of the Senate by a good margin. Already, Republicans are likely to take over Democratic seats in Virginia, Florida, Nebraska, Missouri, New Mexico, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. They may lose in Massachusetts and will probably hold on to their seats in Arizona and Nevada despite the retirement of their incumbents there. That means a GOP dominated Senate by the margin 56-44.
If these data cause Republicans (hopefully wealthy ones) in Washington State, West Virginia, Wisconsin, New Jersey, and Minnesota to consider entering U.S. Senate races against the Democratic incumbents in those states, it could cause the GOP to get sixty votes in the Senate. The party identification data indicates that this goal is distinctly within reach if we get good candidates in a few more states.
Don’t listen to the media induced pessimism. A gigantic upset is in the making!