2010 More Republican Than 1994

Gallup's final pre-election poll gives Republicans a 15 point advantage over Democrats, compared to only 5 points in 1994.

Gallup’s Lydia Saad, a family friend, has a rather shocking set of comparative numbers from recent midterms, which she presents under the title “2010 Electorate Still Looking More Republican Than in the Past.”

Gallup Midterm Polls 1994 1998 2002 2006 2010

Tom Maguire suggests these numbers “suggest that 2010 will make 1994 look like 2002.” But it’s worth noting that Gallup predicted 2002 to be a bigger Republican rout than 1994 and, well, it wasn’t.     Then again, Republicans already had the majority in 2002, so picking up 8 seats actually took them to 229 seats — just one fewer than they had in 1994.

Lydia notes some interesting trends, regardless:

Notably, this year’s high Republican representation among likely voters stems mainly from a substantial increase in Republican-leaning independents in the likely voter pool — now at 16% — reflecting the broader shift toward the Republican Party among independents evident since 2009.

With respect to political ideology, the 48% of likely voters now describing their political views as conservative is slightly greater than the 42% to 45% seen in each of the prior three midterms. However, the percentage of likely voters identifying as liberal has also generally increased over this period. Both changes are consistent with broader patterns Gallup has identified in the past year.

Likely voters’ demographic profile has shifted somewhat since 1994, with increases in the proportions of nonwhites, college graduates, and adults in the 50 to 64 and 65+ age brackets. These changes stem partly from larger societal trends associated with aging baby boomers and expanding minority populations.

So, we have an electorate that’s polarized more than it has been in the last couple decades and also better educated, older, and more racially diverse.

I’m cautious about Gallup’s “likely voter” screen, which doesn’t comport with other numbers I trust.  But this trendline within their numbers over the years is interesting. That they give Republicans a 15 point advantage over Democrats, compared to only 5 points in 1994, is just astounding.

Do they mean that the Republican wave will be bigger than anyone’s predicting?  I’m incredibly skeptical.   But I didn’t see 1994’s wave coming, either.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2010, Public Opinion Polls
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Doh!

  2. john personna says:

    Yeah, but I lean Republican. A lot of good that does you 😉

  3. ponce says:

    I’m almost more interested in how the pollsters do than the politicians do.

    Maybe it’s because no matter what happens, my guy will still be president.

  4. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Thats your guy, Ponce you are a communist antiAmerican turncoat.

  5. mantis says:

    Thats your guy, Ponce you are a communist antiAmerican turncoat.

    Indeed. If you support the duly elected president of the United States, you are a turncoat. True, if you’re a British subject circa 1790, I guess.

  6. ponce says:

    Not to mention It’s pretty boring having your party control the entire government.

    Getting to watch the Republicans fall on each other like rabid dogs once they realize they have no choice but to pass a budget with a trillion dollar deficit will be quite fun, too.

    The cherry on top will be if/when Sarah Palin announces.

  7. An Interested Party says:

    “Getting to watch the Republicans fall on each other like rabid dogs once they realize they have no choice but to pass a budget with a trillion dollar deficit will be quite fun, too.”

    This touches on a very interesting point…so many conservatives have been crowing for awhile now about how the GOP is going to take over one or both houses of Congress…but once they do, then what? It’s almost like a trap for them…if they just continue to oppose the president with gridlock and maybe even a shutdown, then get painted as obstructionists and can get used by the president in his reelection bid…if they comprimise with him at all (yes I know, highly unlikely), he probably would get most of the credit…if they conduct ridiculous witchhunts (sorry Ms. O’Donnell, that’s not directed at you as you will be nowhere near the Senate), they get painted as partisan loons wasting time looking for alleged “crimes”…pick your poison, GOP…and careful what you wish for, conservatives…

  8. Franklin says:

    I still question how valid any of these polls are, seeing as only Republicans have landlines. Let me go check 538 …

  9. Franklin says:
  10. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Mantis, the lefty who occupies the oval office won the election by spewing many lies. First, the fact he is unqualified to hold that office is really important. Since his father was a subject of the British Crown, Obama is not a natural born citizen. Makes no difference where he was born but it makes a great deal of difference who he was born to. Second, he was not elected to fundamentally transform this nation. Americans do now want to be fundamentally transformed. We just want the government to do what the Constitution says it is supposed to do. I know that information is lost on people like yourself. Ones who have been removed from other sites because they are, well, like you. Jay Tea says FOAD.

  11. Juneau: says:

    @ ponce

    Getting to watch the Republicans fall on each other like rabid dogs once they realize they have no choice but to pass a budget with a trillion dollar deficit will be quite fun, too.

    Oh. You mean the budget that the Dems neglected to pass – in violation of federal law – because they didn’t want the numbers to be made public at an inconvenient time for them?

    Yeah, I’m sure you’re looking forward to the fallout and bad press which is sure to come as Republicans clean up Obama’s litter box and mop up the economic hair balls he hacked up in pursuit of liberal utopia. But you know, that’s what adults do; they clean up the crap left behind by children who never learned that there’s always a price to pay when they spend their allowance, blow their savings, max out their credit card (which you provided), and then the car you gave them to do their job needs expensive maintenance because they couldn’t even be bothered to get the oil changed. They were too busy playing golf…

  12. Juneau: says:

    @ AIP

    … if they just continue to oppose the president with gridlock and maybe even a shutdown, then get painted as obstructionists

    You do realize that this opposition to Obama’s agenda is why we are trouncing the liberals… right? If Obama’s agenda doesn’t change, then opposition will only strengthen the GOP position with the voters, not weaken it.

    Besides, if it gets to that, then the GOP has learned absolutely nothing. What they should be doing is demanding that every issue which is on the line this election be addressed with a vote and force Obama and the Dems in the Senate to go on the record as (once again) going against the will of the American people; immigration, Obamacare, deficit spending, Governmental intrusion into the private business, and state sovereignty.

  13. ponce says:

    “You do realize that this opposition to Obama’s agenda is why we are trouncing the liberals… right?”

    This reminds me of someone claiming during a solar eclipse that he’s stolen the sun.

  14. An Interested Party says:

    “But you know, that’s what adults do; they clean up the crap left behind by children who never learned that there’s always a price to pay when they spend their allowance, blow their savings, max out their credit card (which you provided), and then the car you gave them to do their job needs expensive maintenance because they couldn’t even be bothered to get the oil changed. They were too busy playing golf…”

    That’s actually very funny and quite ironic, considering what the Republicans did when they had control of the White House and the Congress…I guess it’s too much to ask to at least be honest and admit that the majority of both parties aren’t all that interested in balancing the budget and getting our fiscal house in order…

  15. bob says:

    this is more like 1938 than 1994. FDR provided a GOP 72 seat sweep.

  16. jwest says:

    Ponce reminds me of Baldrick in the BBC series “Blackadder”.

    The democrats have a “cunning plan” to let republicans win big.