Gallup released poll results today that may surprise you. It is the first in a four-part “State of the States” to be released this week on gallup.com. The series examines state-by-state differences in party affiliation, religiosity, consumer confidence, and employer hiring and letting go, based on Gallup Poll Daily tracking data collected throughout 2008. It should be very interesting to follow.
An analysis of Gallup Poll Daily tracking data from 2008 finds Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Hawaii to be the most Democratic states in the nation, along with the District of Columbia. Utah and Wyoming are the most Republican states.
These results should be extremely encouraging to Kansas Democrats. Just two percent more of Kansas adults identify themselves as Republicans than as Democrats.
This number indicates that Democrats have a huge potential for voter registration and party growth. If ever there were a year to do something, this is it. Most county Democratic parties are just sitting on their thumbs doing nothing. Unfortunately, Ellsworth County is one of them.
And, there must be a large number of people who call themselves Republicans, and are registered as Republicans, but who think and vote like Democrats. Maybe more than half of the the unaffiliated voters in Kansas are really closet Democrats. Something’s up with these numbers.
This should be good news for Democrats who are running for office as people of this state identify with Democrats almost the same and as often as they do with Republicans.
Democrats can win with smart, well-financed campaigns and honest, good ideas. Think how long, if ever, Kansans have elected a right-wing conservative Republican for Governor. Off hand, I can’t think of one in my life time. They have all been moderate Republicans or moderate Democrats who were not attached to the uber conservative element.
Which reminds me: there isn’t a more right-wing, conservative evangelical Republican than Sam Brownback who is about to announce his candidacy for Governor. He showed his true colors and extreme conservatism during his campaign for President where he hardly made a ripple and withdrew early. He will have to do his chameleon act again (he did it when he was first going to run for Governor then switched to run for the Senate) and remake himself into a moderate to ever have a chance at winning the Governorship. My take, and hope, is that the people of this state are smart enough to not be won over by his constant change in feather colors to win elections when he is what he really is…way too conservative for most Kansans.
Here’s the method behind Gallup’s poll.
In 2008, Gallup interviewed more than 350,000 U.S. adults as part of Gallup Poll Daily tracking. That includes interviews with 1,000 or more residents of every U.S. state except Wyoming (885) and North Dakota (953), as well as the District of Columbia (689). There were more than 15,000 interviews conducted with residents of California, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Florida.
This large data set provides the unique ability to give reliable estimates of state-level characteristics for 2008. Each sample of state residents was weighted by demographic characteristics to ensure it is representative of the state’s population.
In order to rank the states on partisanship, Gallup analyzes “leaned” party identification by state. This measure adds partisan-leaning independents to the percentage who identify with either of the parties. Thus, the Republican total includes Republican identifiers and independents who lean Republican, and the Democratic total likewise includes Democratic identifiers and independents who lean Democratic.
This helps makes the state data more comparable because the percentage who identify as political independents varies greatly by state, from a low of 25% in the District of Columbia to a high of 53% in Rhode Island.
The accompanying map shows party strength by state for 2008, ranging from states that can be considered solidly Democratic (a Democratic advantage in party identification of 10 percentage points or more) to those that can be considered solidly Republican (a Republican advantage in party identification of 10 percentage points or more). States in which the partisan advantage is less than 5 points in either direction are considered “competitive.” (The full data for all states appear at the end of the article.)
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