Republican Party fortunes have taken a decisive turn for the worse. Gallup released remarkable data Thursday showing a dramatic 13-point shift in party affiliation since the beginning of the year.
In January, the GOP had a two-point edge on Democrats in terms of voters who either identified as Republicans or leaned Republican—47%-45%. Now Democrats and Democratic leaners enjoy an 11-point edge, 50%-39%. Check out the graph below.
What's so stunning is that it's not just Trump shedding support, it's the entire Republican brand. Think about that. Heading into the GOP-led Senate's January impeachment trial, more Americans generally embraced Republicans than Democrats. But after Senate Republicans acquitted Trump in early February in their sham, no-witness trial, party support shifts in favor of Democrats.
By March, as the coronavirus starts grabbing more headlines, Democrats gain a two-point edge. Democrats then nudge up slightly in April.
But around May, Republicans really begin to tank. That plunge comes in the wake of news in late April that the coronavirus death toll surpassed the 58,220 Americans who died in the Vietnam War. In early May, it becomes clear that Trump and the White House have simply surrendered to the virus and pivoted toward reopening state economies without any national testing/tracing plan in place. At that point, Republicans at both the state and federal levels become willing accomplices in Trump's reckless scheme to reopen America before any of the proper tools are in place.
In addition, George Floyd's brutal death on May 25 at the hands of Minneapolis police officers sparks national outrage, and Trump starts implementing an authoritarian crackdown to combat nationwide protests, most of which are peaceful.
It's during that late May/June timeframe that GOP affiliation plummets five points in a month while Democratic affiliation rises three points. Just wow.
Party affiliation does fluctuate in the Gallup surveys dating back to 1991, but the outfit says "double-digit Democratic advantages have been relatively uncommon." Democrats held a 10-point advantage in January 2019 just after they routed Republicans in the 2018 midterms.
"Four months before Election Day, Democrats appear to be as strong politically now as they were in 2018 when they reclaimed the majority in the House of Representatives and gained seven governorships they previously did not hold," Gallup writes.
Congrats, Republicans. Couldn't be happening to a nicer crew of folks.