If it seems like you are watching the Republican Party vanish before your eyes, it’s because you are. According Gallup, Republican Party identification has fallen to a 25 year low of 25%.
Gallup’s latest party identification poll found that Democratic identification has remained stable. Democratic identification has gone from 36% in 2008 to 31% today, but Republican identification has dropped in each of the last three years, until it has hit its lowest point in the 25 year history of the poll. Republican identification reached a peak of 34% during 2004, but eroded during George W. Bush’s second term. By the time Bush left office, Republican identification was down to 28%.
All of those disappointed Republicans have left the GOP and deemed themselves Independents. Forty percent of those polled now identify as Independents. Of course, some of the Republicans who have departed the Republican Party aren’t really Independent. They still vote Republican, but now they do it as an Independent. This is why Independents voting for Republican presidential candidates like Mitt Romney isn’t a surprise. It is also why the media needs to change their thinking about Independents. Independent voters are no longer neutrals, but they are more likely disaffected Republicans who have left their party.
The Republican decision to obstruct Obama at all costs has led to their own demise. When the Republicans became the party of no, they lost much of the country. The Obama era could have been one of bipartisan compromise and achievement, but Republicans rejected the validity of this president and his presidency from day one. The decision not to evolve with the country has left them taking unpopular position after unpopular position just so that they can say no to Obama.
The overall tone of the country’s political identification is decidedly more left. Contrary to what Republicans like to claim, America is not a conservative country. For the third straight year, the nation has identified more with Democrats than Republicans. When Independents were included in the partisan leanings question, Democrats maintained their six point advantage from last year, and led Republicans 47%-41%.
Not only is the Republican Party facing extinction, but the country itself continues to move left. The nation is leaving the Republican Party behind, and as the GOP has gotten smaller, the extremists have taken control. The only thing saving the Republican Party from total irrelevance at the federal level is their control of the House of Representatives. Of course that House of Representatives is the least popular Congress in history, which speaks volumes about the condition of the Republican Party.
America is moving on without the Republican Party. The United States truly has become no country for the old white conservative men who are the majority constituency of the GOP, as President Obama is leading a new era in American politics.