Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Party identification shifts towards Democrats, DFL 

Professor Steve Frank, a co-director of the SCSU Survey, sends me a link to a special report by Gallup that shows a shift in party identification towards Democrats nationwide, and towards the DFL in Minnesota. The moving of party ID, Gallup points out, coincides with the decline in Bush's approval rating (the nationwide Democratic advantage in the first quarter, when Bush's approval rating averaged 51.3%, was 0.2%, but in the fourth quarter Bush's approval fell to 40.6% and party ID shows a 6.5% advantage for Democrats.)

Likewise in Minnesota, the state showed itself to be competitive -- leaning less than 5% in the DFL direction -- in 2002 and 2003, but becoming more DFL in 2004 and 2005. Prof. Frank points out to me that the Survey polls in 2002 and 2003 likewise showed party ID at 38D/34R, as opposed to the latest poll at 45D/33R. That is, as Bush and Pawlenty both have declined in the last 12 months, those who had responded independent, apolitical, or don't know, have moved their affiliation to the DFL column. Party ID isn't a fixed point, as Steve pointed out in a comment last month.

My friend Gary Miller and others at KvM have slagged the Survey for suspect polling by oversampling Democrats. I think they need to reconsider.

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