In 2021, the political party preferences of Americans shifted dramatically. Specifically, a Gallup poll recently revealed that the shift from Democrat to Republican allegiance last year is the largest change in party identification amongst the American population since 1991.
In the first quarter of 2021, Democrats enjoyed a nine percentage point advantage over the Republicans; however, by the fourth quarter, the Democrats’ lead had plunged down to an extraordinarily rare five percentage points below the Republicans, according to Gallup.
The data released by Gallup is based on aggregated data originating from all American Gallup phone surveys conducted in 2021, including multiple interviews with well over 12,000 randomly sampled U.S. adults.
The Q4 results reveal that Americans, in all likelihood, presently identify more strongly with the Republican party than the Democrat party, despite the 2021 national average that shows Democrat-leaning Americans outnumbering Republican-leaning Americans by 46 percent to 43 percent, respectively.
Over the past three decades, Republicans have only held a five-point lead in only four quarters, and the last time that the GOP enjoyed such a precipitous lead was in 1995, well over twenty years ago. In 1995, the Republicans won control of the House of Representatives, which was the first time they succeeded in doing so since the 1950s.
The largest advantage that the GOP ever held was in the first quarter of 1991, notably after the American victory in the Persian Gulf War, which was spearheaded by former President George H.W. Bush.
On the contrary, the Democrats enjoyed double-digit advantages in particular quarters between 1992 and 1999, in addition to nearly continuous quarters between the middle of 2006 through the early months of 2009.
Gallup acknowledges that the dramatic shift in party preferences for 2021 is likely correlated to President Joe Biden’s abysmal first year in office.
Initially, Biden enjoyed fairly high approval ratings as soon as he took office on January 20; however, his approval ratings have embarked on a precipitous free fall ever since April. Since the incompetent withdrawal from Afghanistan, Biden’s approval ratings have fallen even more dramatically.