April 7, 2015

Party Identification Trends, 1992-2014

Pew Research Center has been tracking the party affiliation of the general public for over 20 years. Click the buttons or scroll down to explore the party ID data for two dozen demographic subgroups, categorized by gender, race, education, generation, and religious affiliation. Report: A Deep Dive Into Party Affiliation

Total

Nearly four-in-ten Americans (39%) identify as independents, 32% as Democrats and 23% as Republicans, based on aggregated data from 2014. The share of self-described independents has risen nine points over the past decade, up from 30% in 2004. Over this period, the percentage of Republicans has fallen six points – from 29% to 23% – while the share of Democrats is little changed. (Here is a timeline of party affiliation among the public since 1939.)

Party Identification, 1992-2014

Year Ind Rep Dem
1992 36 28 33
1993 34 27 34
1994 34 30 32
1995 33 31 30
1996 33 29 33
1997 32 28 33
1998 31 28 34
1999 34 27 33
2000 29 28 33
2001 29 29 34
2002 30 30 31
2003 31 30 31
2004 30 29 33
2005 31 29 33
2006 30 28 33
2007 34 25 33
2008 31 25 35
2009 35 24 34
2010 36 25 33
2011 37 24 32
2012 37 25 32
2013 38 24 32
2014 39 23 32

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The balance of leaned partisan affiliation among the public has changed little in recent years: 48% identify with the Democratic Party or lean Democratic, while 39% identify as Republicans or lean toward the GOP. Since 1992, only once – in 2002 – have as many people leaned toward the Republican Party as the Democratic Party (43% each). They crossed over two times, one in 2002 as stated and once in 1994 (44% R, 44% D).

Leaned Party Identification, 1992-2014

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992 41 48
1993 39 48
1994 44 44
1995 46 43
1996 42 48
1997 40 47
1998 40 47
1999 40 48
2000 39 44
2001 41 45
2002 43 43
2003 42 44
2004 41 47
2005 40 48
2006 38 47
2007 36 50
2008 35 51
2009 37 50
2010 40 47
2011 40 48
2012 39 49
2013 40 48
2014 39 48

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Gender

There has long been a sizable gender gap in leaned party identification. Men are divided (44% Democratic, 43% Republican). In 2008, however, Democrats held a nine-point lead in leaned party identification among men (47% to 38%). Since 1990, women have been consistently more likely than men to identify as Democrats or lean Democratic (52% to 36% in 2014). Back to top

Men – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992 44 45
1993 43 44
1994 48 40
1995 50 38
1996 46 44
1997 45 42
1998 43 43
1999 43 45
2000 43 40
2001 44 41
2002 46 39
2003 46 40
2004 45 44
2005 43 45
2006 41 44
2007 40 46
2008 38 47
2009 40 45
2010 43 43
2011 43 44
2012 42 46
2013 43 44
2014 43 44

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Women – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992 39 52
1993 36 52
1994 40 48
1995 42 47
1996 38 52
1997 36 52
1998 36 50
1999 37 51
2000 35 48
2001 38 48
2002 40 46
2003 38 49
2004 38 50
2005 37 51
2006 35 50
2007 33 53
2008 32 54
2009 34 54
2010 37 51
2011 37 52
2012 36 51
2013 37 52
2014 36 52

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Race and Ethnicity

Republicans hold a 49%-40% lead over the Democrats in leaned party identification among whites. The Democrats hold an 80%-11% advantage among blacks, and lead by more than two-to-one among Hispanics (56%-26%). Asian Americans also lean Democratic by a wide margin (65%-23%). This data for Asian Americans is based on interviews conducted in English. Back to top

White, Non-Hispanic – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992 46 44
1993 43 44
1994 49 40
1995 51 38
1996 47 44
1997 45 43
1998 44 42
1999 45 43
2000 45 39
2001 48 39
2002 49 37
2003 49 38
2004 49 41
2005 46 43
2006 44 43
2007 43 44
2008 42 44
2009 45 43
2010 48 39
2011 49 40
2012 48 41
2013 50 39
2014 49 40

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Black, Non-Hispanic – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992 10 82
1993 8 83
1994 11 80
1995 12 76
1996 11 82
1997 13 78
1998 13 78
1999 12 79
2000 10 76
2001 11 78
2002 11 77
2003 10 81
2004 9 80
2005 10 78
2006 11 76
2007 11 78
2008 8 81
2009 10 82
2010 8 82
2011 9 84
2012 9 84
2013 9 83
2014 11 80

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Hispanic – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006 23 50
2007 24 53
2008 23 64
2009 22 61
2010 24 60
2011 24 58
2012 24 57
2013 26 59
2014 26 56

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Asian, Non-Hispanic (English-speaking only) – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008 25 57
2009 24 64
2010 29 53
2011 30 53
2012 27 59
2013 27 62
2014 23 65

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Education

Democrats now hold a 12-point lead (52% to 40%) in leaned party identification among those with at least a college degree, up from just a four point gap seen as recently as 2010 (48% to 44%). Much of this advantage has come among adults with post-graduate experience; currently, 56% lean Democratic while just 36% lean Republican. Among those who have received a college degree but have no post-graduate experience, the gap is much narrower: 48% identify as Democrats or lean Democratic, while 43% affiliate with the GOP or lean Republican. Back to top

High School or Less – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992 37 52
1993 34 51
1994 40 46
1995 42 45
1996 37 51
1997 36 49
1998 35 50
1999 36 50
2000 34 46
2001 36 47
2002 38 44
2003 38 46
2004 37 48
2005 37 48
2006 34 48
2007 32 51
2008 31 52
2009 33 51
2010 36 48
2011 37 48
2012 36 48
2013 37 48
2014 37 47

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Some College – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992 44 45
1993 44 46
1994 48 43
1995 50 40
1996 46 46
1997 44 45
1998 44 44
1999 42 47
2000 43 43
2001 45 43
2002 46 41
2003 45 43
2004 45 45
2005 42 47
2006 40 47
2007 39 49
2008 38 49
2009 40 49
2010 42 46
2011 42 46
2012 42 47
2013 43 45
2014 42 47

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College Graduate+ – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992 50 43
1993 46 45
1994 49 42
1995 50 42
1996 48 46
1997 46 46
1998 46 44
1999 45 47
2000 46 42
2001 46 44
2002 49 41
2003 47 44
2004 45 47
2005 43 49
2006 42 48
2007 41 49
2008 39 51
2009 40 50
2010 44 48
2011 42 50
2012 41 51
2013 40 51
2014 40 52

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Post-Graduate Experience + – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992 47 46
1993 43 49
1994 46 46
1995 47 45
1996 46 48
1997 41 51
1998 40 49
1999 41 52
2000 43 46
2001 41 49
2002 44 46
2003 43 48
2004 41 52
2005 39 54
2006 37 52
2007 36 54
2008 36 55
2009 35 55
2010 39 52
2011 36 56
2012 37 55
2013 36 55
2014 36 56

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Generation

Millennials remain the most Democratic age cohort: 51% of Millennials identify as Democrats or lean Democratic, compared with 35% who identify as Republican or lean Republican. The balance of leaned party identification narrows among Generation X and the Baby Boomers. And among the Silent Generation, Republicans hold a four-point lead in leaned party affiliation (47%-43%). Back to top

Millennial – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999 40 47
2000 39 42
2001 40 46
2002 41 42
2003 38 47
2004 37 50
2005 36 52
2006 35 49
2007 33 53
2008 30 55
2009 33 55
2010 33 52
2011 35 51
2012 33 53
2013 35 51
2014 35 51

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Generation X – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992 44 46
1993 41 48
1994 47 42
1995 48 40
1996 43 47
1997 41 45
1998 42 45
1999 40 47
2000 41 43
2001 40 44
2002 43 42
2003 42 43
2004 42 46
2005 40 47
2006 38 46
2007 35 49
2008 35 50
2009 37 49
2010 40 46
2011 40 47
2012 39 48
2013 40 48
2014 38 49

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Baby Boomer – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992 42 47
1993 40 47
1994 45 43
1995 47 41
1996 43 48
1997 42 46
1998 39 47
1999 40 48
2000 39 45
2001 42 45
2002 44 42
2003 43 44
2004 42 47
2005 41 48
2006 38 48
2007 38 49
2008 36 50
2009 38 49
2010 42 46
2011 41 48
2012 40 48
2013 43 47
2014 41 47

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Silent Generation – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992 38 52
1993 37 50
1994 42 47
1995 45 45
1996 41 50
1997 39 50
1998 41 47
1999 38 51
2000 39 46
2001 42 46
2002 42 45
2003 44 45
2004 43 47
2005 41 48
2006 40 48
2007 38 50
2008 38 48
2009 40 48
2010 44 45
2011 45 46
2012 47 44
2013 44 47
2014 47 43

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Religious Tradition

Republicans have widened their lead in leaned party identification among white evangelical Protestants: About two-thirds (68%) of white evangelicals lean Republican, while just 22% lean Democratic. The GOP also holds a substantial advantage among Mormons. Fully 70% of Mormons lean Republican, while just 22% lean Democratic.

The partisan leanings of white mainline Protestants and white Catholics mirror those of all whites. Jews remain a solidly Democratic group: Nearly twice as many lean Democratic (61%) as Republican (31%). People with no religious affiliation increasingly lean toward the Democratic Party. Currently, 61% of those who do not identify with any religion lean Democratic – a 22-year high. Back to top

White Evangelical – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992
1993
1994 59 33
1995 61 33
1996 57 34
1997 55 36
1998 55 34
1999 55 35
2000 56 33
2001 60 31
2002 60 29
2003 62 29
2004 63 29
2005 62 29
2006 60 30
2007 58 31
2008 60 29
2009 61 29
2010 65 25
2011 67 25
2012 67 24
2013 67 24
2014 68 22

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White Mainline Protestant – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992
1993
1994 50 40
1995 50 39
1996 46 44
1997 46 41
1998 45 42
1999 46 41
2000 45 40
2001 47 39
2002 49 38
2003 48 39
2004 47 42
2005 46 43
2006 42 44
2007 41 45
2008 41 45
2009 43 43
2010 47 39
2011 49 39
2012 49 40
2013 50 40
2014 48 40

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Black Protestant – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992
1993
1994 11 81
1995 12 77
1996 10 83
1997 12 80
1998 13 79
1999 12 81
2000 11 78
2001 10 81
2002 10 80
2003 9 83
2004 9 81
2005 11 79
2006 10 78
2007 10 79
2008 7 84
2009 9 84
2010 8 85
2011 7 86
2012 7 86
2013 8 85
2014 10 82

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Total Catholic – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992
1993
1994 42 48
1995 43 46
1996 40 52
1997 38 52
1998 37 51
1999 38 51
2000 38 48
2001 39 48
2002 42 46
2003 40 48
2004 40 50
2005 37 53
2006 35 50
2007 35 51
2008 34 53
2009 36 52
2010 39 50
2011 39 49
2012 37 50
2013 39 49
2014 40 48

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White, Non-Hispanic Catholic – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992
1993
1994 45 45
1995 45 45
1996 42 50
1997 40 50
1998 39 48
1999 42 47
2000 42 46
2001 45 43
2002 47 41
2003 45 43
2004 45 46
2005 42 48
2006 40 48
2007 40 48
2008 39 49
2009 44 46
2010 47 42
2011 48 43
2012 47 44
2013 51 40
2014 50 41

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Hispanic Catholic – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006 25 54
2007 23 59
2008 21 63
2009 20 65
2010 21 66
2011 24 60
2012 21 61
2013 23 62
2014 25 58

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Mormon – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992
1993
1994 72 21
1995 62 31
1996 61 31
1997 56 31
1998 59 29
1999 58 34
2000 null null
2001 64 28
2002 69 23
2003 70 21
2004 69 23
2005 70 22
2006 70 19
2007 60 28
2008 63 20
2009 68 18
2010 70 23
2011 75 19
2012 72 21
2013 73 19
2014 70 22

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Jewish – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992
1993
1994 23 65
1995 25 67
1996 28 66
1997 25 68
1998 24 67
1999 24 70
2000 18 72
2001 21 70
2002 27 64
2003 29 62
2004 22 69
2005 21 71
2006 23 66
2007 24 68
2008 23 69
2009 25 66
2010 29 63
2011 30 65
2012 25 68
2013 30 65
2014 31 61

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No Religious Affiliation – Party ID

Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
1992
1993
1994 32 50
1995 36 45
1996 32 54
1997 29 50
1998 27 53
1999 28 52
2000 29 47
2001 28 51
2002 29 47
2003 28 51
2004 27 56
2005 24 59
2006 23 56
2007 22 59
2008 22 59
2009 23 60
2010 27 55
2011 26 57
2012 26 59
2013 26 58
2014 25 61

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