Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Gallup: Wisconsin Still Solidly Dem

Gallup released the results of a party affiliation poll yesterday and they have Wisconsin listed as a solidly Democratic state. Let me be clear about something before I get the inevitable "oh yeah?" comments from right wingers: I'm not saying that the results of this or any other one poll should be relied on in any real way. On the other hand, I often do find these kinds of things interesting and they can be instructive in some ways.

Gallup found that Wisconsin is still considered "solidly Democratic" along with 23 other states and DC. However, that total number is down 6 from 2008 but still far ahead of the number of solid Republican states (4). The number of "lean" and "solid" Republican states are about the same this year but the number of "lean" Democratic and "competitive" states are up.

Again, as Gallup clearly advises, just because a state is solidly one way or the other (in terms of ID), it does not mean that the majority of the actual voters will cast their ballots that way. The easiest example of that is in Massachusetts which is still considered solidly Democratic but obviously suffered a big loss. This suggests to me that a ton of Dem voters stayed home and were not motivated to vote for the Dem candidate there. I think that this just underscores the fact that you can't take anything for granted no matter where you are running.

Although the Gallup Poll finds that Wisconsin is still solidly a Democratic state in terms of party ID, it does show that Dems' advantage has gone down from 18 percentage points to 12 since 2008. Nationally, 49% of Americans still said that they were either strongly Dem or at least leaned Dem (as compared to 41% Republican). That is down from 2008, when those numbers were 52% to 40% respectively.

Gallup's poll is based on actual telephone interviews and has a margin of error ranging from 1-4% depending on the state.

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