For the first time since Gallup began measuring party affiliation nationwide, there are now more red states than blue ones. Twenty states are either solidly Republican or leaning Republican, while just 14 are solidly or leaning Democratic. The remaining 16 are competitive between the two parties.
“This is the first time in Gallup’s eight years of tracking partisanship by state that there have been more Republican than Democratic states,” writes Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones. “It also marks a dramatic shift from 2008, when Democratic strength nationally was its greatest in recent decades.” (Gallup defines a state as “solid” for a party if that party has a 10-point or larger voter ID edge; a “leaning” state is one where a party has a five to 10 point edge.)
The shift in party affiliation over the past seven years is absolutely incredible. In 2008, there were 35(!) states that were either solidly or leaning Democratic, five solid or leaning Republican and 10 judged as competitive. The following year there were 33 Democratic states, 12 competitive states and, still, five Republican ones.
From 2008 to 2015, Democrats went from a 30-state lead to a six-state deficit when it comes to states solidly or leaning their way on party affiliation. That is simply stunning.
Gallup’s findings are in keeping with what I think is the most under-told story of the Obama years: Republicans have made massive gains at virtually every level of government other than, of course, the White House.
This helps crystallize the illegal immigration debate quite nicely. No Republican should be on board with amnesty because all it will do is quickly mint new voters who would likely lean Democrat. Republicans are doing just fine making their case to, you know, Americans. Even here in what most people perceive to be ultra-blue California, more than fifty percent of the elective offices are held by Republicans.
As Chris Cillizza mentions, this is the most under-told story of the past seven years, largely because the Democrat Media Complex can’t bring themselves to believe that the president they’ve treated like a messiah hasn’t worn well with the American people.
What the Washington-based GOP elite won’t admit is that this surge has been fueled for the most part by Tea Party conservatives. The overwhelming midterm victories in 2010 and 2014 weren’t the result of the moderate GOP class getting out there and pitching “comprehensive immigration reform.” Even Mitch McConnell knew that would be a losing proposition heading into 2014, despite what the GOP “autopsy” after 2012 said.
Removing the Trump phenomenon from the discussion, the friction in the GOP at the moment is between one faction saying “We should be more like the Democrats” and the other saying, “Um, no.”
Why compromise or capitulate when your opponent is retreating?