I missed this last week; it’s dated May 1. In April, the number of adults not affiliated with either major party increased by 1.6 percentage points, while the number identifying themselves as Republicans decreased 1.3 percentage points. This marks the lowest level for Republicans since July 2008. The number of Democrats remained relatively constant, compared to last month. Following the historic health care reform debate, the percentage of adults identifying themselves as Democrats is now at 36.0% and the number of Republicans at 31.6%, while 32.5% say they are not affiliated with either major party. After declining for four straight months to the lowest levels on record, the number of Democrats increased a full percentage point to 36.2 in March, while Republicans inched up to 32.9%. This was consistent with other data showing that the health care debate heightened passions on both sides of the aisle. While this is a rare piece of good news for Democrats, it’s nothing to celebrate over. The 32.5% who identify themselves as independents definitely lean Republican. I saw the UT Poll’s Jim Henson yesterday and asked how he thinks independents are breaking. He said 2 to 1 Republican. That would be 22:11.
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