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Gallup says there are now more Red States than Blue States

by | Feb 4, 2016

By Dave Andrusko

  How’s this for a corker of a lead?

When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, 35 states were solidly Democratic or leaning that way, according to Gallup’s analysis of party affiliation out Wednesday.

What a difference seven years make.

   POLITICO’s Nick Gass is alluding to  a report from Gallup that showed “Red States [controlled by Republicans] Outnumber Blue [controlled by Democrats] for First Time in Gallup Tracking.”

It would be ideal if Democrats were as pro-life as Republicans, but for now and for the foreseeable future, that isn’t the case. So this is very good news for our Movement. And, of course, it’s no accident that the changeover coincides with the presidency of pro-abortion Barack Obama.

Here’s the opening paragraph from Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones [www.gallup.com/poll/188969/red-states-outnumber-blue-first-time-gallup-tracking.aspx?g_source=Politics&g_medium=lead&g_campaign=tiles]:

PRINCETON, N.J. — Gallup’s analysis of political party affiliation at the state level in 2015 finds that 20 states are solidly Republican or leaning Republican, compared with 14 solidly Democratic or leaning Democratic states. The remaining 16 are competitive. This is the first time in Gallup’s eight years of tracking partisanship by state that there have been more Republican than Democratic states. It also marks a dramatic shift from 2008, when Democratic strength nationally was its greatest in recent decades [35 states].

 Jones fills in a number of  fascinating details, including answering the question how can this be true if “Democrats continue to hold an edge nationally in partisanship” [43% to 40%]?

That is largely because many of the most populous states, including California, New York and Illinois, are Democratically aligned.

So, how does Gallup define its terms?

Gallup considers states to be solidly favoring one party when they have a greater-than 10-percentage-point advantage over the other in party affiliation among the state’s adult population.

 

How recent is the change? Jones explains:

     In the last several years, excluding 2012 when President Barack Obama won re-election, there has been a roughly equal number of Democratic and Republican states. But that changed last year, when many more states’ political leanings moved in a Republican rather than a Democratic direction, giving Republicans a lead in more states than Democrats.

   In all, 13 states’ political classifications changed between 2014 and 2015, with 11 of these shifting in a more Republican direction. The Democrats lost three states — Maine, Pennsylvania and Michigan — each of which moved from Democratic-leaning to competitive. Meanwhile, Republicans gained five states — New Hampshire, West Virginia, Missouri, South Carolina and Texas — all moving from competitive to leaning or solidly Republican. Additionally, Alaska and Oklahoma shifted from leaning Republican to being solidly Republican, and Delaware from being solidly Democratic to leaning Democratic.

  This does not necessarily translate into victory this November for Republicans. Democrats, as noted, control many of the largest states, in terms of electoral votes. But, as Jones observes,

Republicans would rarely win, given the Democrats’ “historical advantage in party preferences nationally” if preference was all that mattered.

What carries the day for the Republican presidential nominee? Turnout, for one thing, and people who identify as Democrats either crossing over or sitting out an election, for another. And, of course, Independents are more important than ever, given their growing numbers.

And as we have seen in the past, the right kind of Republican candidate can and will make inroads into pockets of the Democratic coalition.

Good news from Gallup. And a reminder of what the legacy of Barack Obama may truly prove to be.

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