An average of 47 percent of respondents identified themselves as Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents, compared to 42 percent of those who said they were Republican or leaned Republican, results of the Gallup-USA Today poll released Wednesday indicated.
The results re-established a Democratic edge in party affiliation after the two parties basically were tied in 2010 and 2011, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said.
Gallup said it has measured party identification and leaning consistently since 1991, finding Democrats usually held an advantage, including the high margin of 12 points in 2008, when Barack Obama was elected U.S. president.
Republicans held an advantage once, in 1991, when President George H.W. Bush enjoyed record-high approval ratings after the first Gulf War, Gallup said.
The two parties were essentially tied in 1994-1995, 2001-2003, and 2010-2011.
In 2012, 31 percent identified as Democrats and 16 percent said they leaned Democratic, results indicated. Twenty-eight percent identified as Republicans and 14 percent said they leaned toward the GOP last year.
Results for are based on nationwide telephone interviews with 20,800 adults conducted from January to December of 2012. The margin of error is 1 percentage point.