“According to the Gallup organization, 47 percent of Americans now identify with the Republican Party and 42 percent with the Democrats. That sounds ho-hum: one party doing a tad better than the other. But the Gallup numbers may portend a political earthquake.
Republicans seldom lead on measures of party identification, even when they are doing spectacularly well in other respects. Since Gallup began tallying party identification in 1991, Democrats have averaged a four-point lead. Republicans did lead in the first year the poll was taken — the year of the first Iraq war. But since then, even when Republicans rack up midterm wins at the voting booth — the year after 9/11, for instance, or in the aftermath of the unpopular Obamacare bill eight years later — they tend to run roughly even with or behind Democrats.
Between 2016 and 2020 the Democratic advantage swelled to between five and six points. When Joe Biden took over from Donald Trump a year ago, Democrats held a 49-to-40 advantage. From nine points up to five points down in less than a year — it is one of the most drastic reversals of party fortune that Gallup has ever recorded.”