Americans leaning Democratic down 12 points from 2008
Over the course of 2011, the number of Americans identifying as independent voters rose to a record high of 40 percent, Gallup reports. At the same time, more Americans identified as Democrats than Republicans, 31 percent to 27 percent. But that doesn’t mean that Democrats necessarily have a big advantage going in 2012. Gallup determined that more independent voters were inclined to favor Republican views than Democratic ones.
When you add up party identification with party leanings, the two parties were in a dead heat in 2011. Gallup notes that “this is similar to 2010, when the Democrats had a 1-point advantage in leaned party identification, but remains well below the 12-point Democratic advantage in 2008.”