The number of Americans who identify as Democrats has dropped to an all-time low, according to a Gallup survey released Monday.
Overall, only 29 percent of those polled said they self-identify as a Democrat. On the other hand, 26 percent said they identify as a Republican. A whopping 42 percent, however, said they identify as an independent. That number has been rising steadily since President Barack Obama was elected in 2008.
The previous low point for Democrats was in 2014, when just 30 percent of Americans said they identify as a Democrat. The 26 percent for Republicans has been the same for the last two years, prior to the low point of 25 percent in 2013.
Prior to the George H.W. Bush presidency, Democrats were the largest self-indentified group in the United States. Republicans took that lead following the terror attacks on 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
The rise in political party independence is likely to due Americans’ frustrations with the continued gridlock in Washington. In fact, the government is typically cited as the one thing that frustrates Americans most. But while the number of self-identified independents is on the rise, 2015 was not the highest year for those walking away from political parties — 2014 saw a record 43 percent of Americans identify as independent.
The survey of 12,137 adults taken over the course of 2015 was conducted via cellphone and landline interview. The margin of error in the survey is +/- 1 percent.
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