The political state of our union is...
Bottom Line: Monthly Gallup provides a party ID update. It's pretty straight-forward, what party do you ID with - if any. All throughout the year the news has been interesting, telling and instructive. Despite the general media narrative (Trump sucks and such), GOP ID had actually averaged above the levels registered on Election Day 2016 - when Republicans won more elections than at any other time since the 1920's. That did come crashing down to earth in October however as Republican party ID was as low as it'd been since July of 2015. So, as we gathered around the turkey to discuss politics what party did we adhere to?
Here's where we were on Election Day 2016:
6% third party
3% third party
3% third party
Clearly people aren't clamoring for either political party as we head down the home stretch of 2017. Republicans did post a small win in the month as they flipped 1% back from Democrats, though they still are posting a 5% deficit in party ID.
It's notable that Democrats haven't capitalized on the defections (at least not directly at this point) which is an important point in this conversation and a potential lost opportunity. Despite the anti-Trump furor in Democrat ranks and throughout much of the media - there are actually 1% fewer Democrats today than on Election Day a year ago and from October. Throughout the year it's been clear that Republicans had suffered losses as progress wasn't being made on the biggest agenda items identified by voters in January (healthcare and taxes). With Republicans on the precipice of meaningful tax reform that has the potential to deliver on a key piece of the healthcare promise, the end of the individual mandate, they actually could be getting their act together in time to rally in advance of the 2018 midterms. That's a big if that's predicated on actually delivering...