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
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.)
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).
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
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
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
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
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