The percentage of Americans who identify themselves as Democrats fell to 31% in 2010, matching the lowest level in at least the last 22 years, according to Gallup.
That finding, based on an aggregation of 21 surveys of more than 25,000 adults conducted by Gallup and Gallup/USAToday over the past year, matches the low water mark previously recorded by Gallup in 2003, 1995, and 1991. It’s also down five points from the 22-year high of 36% of Americans who identified as Democrats just two years ago.
That speed of that five-point drop is almost without precedent in the Gallup average. In releasing the findings, Gallup noted:
While there is usually some year-to-year variation in party identification at the aggregate level, the changes are typically not large. Thus, the five-point drop in Democratic identification over the past two years, from the party’s 22-year high of 36% (tying the 1988 figure) to its 22-year low of 31%, is notable.
Gallup has been releasing a yearly aggregate since 1988.While Democratic identification is down, it is still higher than the number of Americans who consider themselves Republicans. The Gallup average pegged Republican Party identification at 29% for the year, two points higher than the record low 27% the GOP averaged last year.
Meanwhile, the percentage of self-identified Independents is on the rise, climbing three points in the last two years to 38%. Consistently, a plurality of Americans have identified themselves as Independents in the Gallup poll.