Poll: Independents gain on Democrats, GOP

April 30, 2009 at 2:22 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 30 (UPI) -- Independent U.S. voters are on the rise as a drop in Republican adherents fails to translate into significant Democratic gains, a nationwide survey suggests.

Twenty-three percent of U.S. adults consider themselves Republicans, down from 25 percent in 2008 and 30 percent in 2004, the Pew Research Center's April survey said.

But the GOP losses have translated into only marginal Democratic gains, with 36 percent of those surveyed describing themselves as independents, up from 32 percent in 2008 and 30 percent in 2004. The survey said 35 percent of U.S. adults identified themselves as Democrats, about the same as the 36 percent identifying themselves as Democrats in 2008.

A separate Gallup Poll found 35 percent of U.S. adults considered themselves Democrats, 28 percent Republicans and 35 percent independents, the same as at the end of 2008.

Aggregated data from 2009's first quarter show 52 percent of Americans identifying themselves as Democrats or saying they were independent but leaned toward the Democratic Party, while 39 percent identified themselves as Republicans or leaned Republican.

The Pew results are based on interviews with 7,127 adults between January and April, with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.5 percent. The Gallup results are based on aggregated data from several polls, each consisting of telephone interviews with about 1,000 adults between January and March. For each Gallup Poll, the maximum margin of sampling error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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