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Gallup: Democratic Edge in Party Affiliation Shrinking

1:14 PM, Sep 3, 2009 • By GARY ANDRES
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Gallup released a report yesterday highlighting a significant narrowing in the self-reported party identification gap since January. Democrats began the year with a 17-point advantage (52%-35%). Some of the spread back then reflected post-election Obama euphoria. Many like to be on the winning team.

But since then the Republican numbers have gradually increased and the Democrats percent identifying with Democrats declined. The August Gallup average now shows the Democratic advantage at just 5-points (45%-40%).

A couple of points deserve mention. The Democratic and Republican numbers include people who identify with one party or the other as well as those who say the "lean" toward the Democrats or Republicans.

Also, the poll was conducted among adults, not registered or likely voters. The gap in this poll would have been even smaller or non-existent if results for those more likely to vote were reported.

These trends, along with the movement in the generic ballot among independents should provide encouragement to Republicans and ring the alarms with Democrats as Congress returns next week.

Read the full new Gallup study here.