WASHINGTON (RNS) A new Gallup Poll shows that Republicans have lost support across every major demographic group with one exception: regular churchgoers.
Since the beginning of the Bush administration in 2001, the GOP has lost self-identified Republicans across the board. Only regular churchgoers, followed closely by self-identified conservatives and older Americans, have remained with the party in large numbers.
In 2001, Americans were nearly evenly split in party identification, with 45 percent identifying as or leaning Democratic, and 44 percent identifying as or leaning Republican. Those figures are now 53 percent Democratic and 39 percent Republican.
GOP losses have been particularly acute among college graduates, 18- to 29-year-olds, self-identified moderates and those who seldom or never attend church, according to Gallup.
Republican identification has remained unchanged among churchgoers, and only slipped 1 percent among the over-65 set and conservatives. It also slipped 1 percent among non-white Americans, but Gallup analysts say minorities “have shown only very limited support for the Republican Party” even before 2001.
Gallup pollsters said the GOP slide began long before President Obama’s election last November; Gallup first detected a loss of Republican support in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina, the failed Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers and the ongoing war in Iraq.
The poll of more than 7,000 U.S. adults had a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percentage point.