Gallup: Americans lean Democrat, grow independent

More Americans identified as Democrats in 2012, for the first time in two years. 

According to a newly released Gallup poll, 47 percent of Americans identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party while only 42 percent identify with or lean toward the GOP. In 2011, the split was 45-45  and, in 2010, 45-44 in the Democrats’ favor.

“Gallup has measured party identification and leaning consistently since 1991,” reads their report. “During that time, Democrats have usually held an advantage, including the high margin of 12 points in 2008, the year President Barack Obama was elected.”

Republicans haven’t led since 1991, during George H.W. Bush’s presidency.

Also noted in Gallup’s study is a rise in independents. Traditionally, more Americans identify with a party in a presidential election year, but 11 percent identified with neither party in 2012, 16 percent as independent with Democratic leanings and 14 percent as independent with Republican leanings. Those numbers total to match 2011’s record high.

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