According to new research released today by Rasmussen, more voters identify themselves as Republican than ever in the last 8 years. More importantly, by a 4 point margin, more voters identify as GOP than Democrat. This is the largest spread between the parties ever. Worse for Democrats, the number of voters who identify with their party is also approaching an historic low.
In August, 37.6% of voters identified themselves as Republican. That is up from 34.9% in July. By contrast, just 33.3% of voters identify themselves as Democrats. That is very near their historic low in February, when 32.4% of voters identified as Democrat. The 4.3 margin in favor of the GOP is the biggest gap ever between the parties. In November 2010, when the GOP won a landslide in the mid-term elections, their advantage was just 1.3 points.
Immediately prior to Obama's inauguration, the Democrat party held a nearly 9 point edge over Republicans. Over 41% of voters called themselves Democrats then, compared to around 32% who were Republicans. It is a stunning reversal as Obama heads into reelection.
The last time GOP was close to this level was September 2004. President Bush went on to win reelection two months later, with an electorate that was evenly split. Even then, more voters called themselves Democrats then, but the party's advantage over the GOP was just over 1 point.
Most of the polls this year are based on the assumption that the Democrats will have a numerical advantage on election day. Many media polls assume even that the electorate in November will be more Democrat than it was in 2008. Based on these results, that event is close to mathematically impossible.
If the GOP advantage holds through November, it is likely that the electorate will be evenly split, like it was in 2004 or possibly have a Republican edge. If that is the case, then current media polling is way off-base. Democrats and the media may wake up in shock on November 7th.