Poll: Record percentage of Americans say they're independents
January 8th, 2014
11:00 AM ET
10 months ago

Poll: Record percentage of Americans say they're independents

(CNN) - The percentage of Americans who identify themselves as political independents is at an all-time high and the number who identify as Republicans is at an all-time low, according to new numbers by Gallup.

Forty-two percent of Americans identified themselves as independents last year, the highest level Gallup's measured since it switched from in-person to telephone interviews a quarter century ago.

Republican identification stood at 25% in 2013, the lowest level over the past 25 years. According to the Gallup numbers, 31% last year identified themselves as Democrats, a level unchanged from the last four years, but matching an all-time low for Democratic party ID.

According to Gallup, the increase in the percentage of Americans who say they're independents is coming at the expense of Republicans more than Democrats.

"Republican identification peaked at 34% in 2004, the year George W. Bush won a second term in office. Since then, it has fallen nine percentage points, with most of that decline coming during Bush's troubled second term. When he left office, Republican identification was down to 28%. It has declined or stagnated since then, improving only slightly to 29% in 2010, the year Republicans 'shellacked' Democrats in the midterm elections," says a release by Gallup.

Democratic party identification has also dropped in recent years, down five points from its recent high of 36% in 2008, the year that President Barack Obama was first elected to the White House.

The Gallup poll also indicates the percentage of Americans identifying as independents surged last year, to 46% in the fourth quarter, around the time of the partial federal government shutdown and the extremely flawed roll out of the new health care law.

Gallup says their 2013 results are based on more than 18,000 interviews from 13 separate polls they conducted last year.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Democratic Party • Democrats • independents • Polls • Republican • Republican Party
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    Nothing for either party to be proud of. Perhaps this speaks to need for actual solutions, and not ramming ideology down peoples' throats.

    January 8, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    An independent is nothing but a confused person. Sorry, but it is what it is. I lean to the right on a few issues and I lean to the left on most issues, but I know I'm no republican.

    January 8, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  3. HenryMiller

    @The Real Tom Paine: "Perhaps this speaks to need for actual solutions, and not ramming ideology down peoples' throats."

    Precisely.

    January 8, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. MTATL67

    Folks are dissatisfied with both parties

    January 8, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  5. vic , nashville ,tn

    Very good news, I wish the number goes above 51%

    “Independents is coming at the expense of Republicans more than Democrats.” True
    Now many republicans angry at Tea party

    January 8, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. Silence DoGood

    "According to Gallup, the increase in the percentage of Americans who say they're independents is coming at the expense of Republicans more than Democrats."

    Some of those former Repubs will be going off some extreme following, maybe the other are taking some time to think for themselves. I have always identified myself as a liberal independent, because I think the Dems need input from the people on being more progressive and not apologetic to the Repub onslaught. I am in favor of more conservative vs. progressive issues than sugar coated Dem vs. Repub non-issues.

    January 8, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. Econ301

    So you would think now would be a good time for a Third Option to pop up right?

    January 8, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    Hopefully the pollsters will be able to differentiate between the true Independents and the Wannabe In Name Only Independents who will, depending on their mindset, otherwise always support and vote for either Democrats or Republicans.

    Lately, pollsters have been pushing a talking point, but nothing else of any tangible use for either party to hang a hat on.

    January 8, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. Tony

    HenryMiller, the problem with Republicans is that their solution for everything is tax cuts. OK, that is not exactly fair. Republicans also want to ban abortion and gay marriage, both of which Republicans do want to ram down people's throats.

    January 8, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. Gurgyl

    -–you mean financially????

    January 8, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    I believe the trend will continue. If you look to the statistical evidence fewer people believe in the American political process to vote. Soon a majority will look outside of politics for real solutions. A political process here has gotten far to expensive, favored those through the lobbyist process and have far too often overlooked real legal issues affecting every person in america. The agenda's are being set by those who gain advantage and the dull expressions coming from Washington to deal with a growing mismanagement of the peoples business is seen for what it is.

    January 8, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    People see dysfunction and understand.

    January 8, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  13. yolanda

    Sorry Dutch, but who are you to pass judgement on what an Independent is or is not. To be an Independent is exactly what the word implies, independent. How does that equate to being confused? I would posit that there are a hell of a lot of confused (and conflicted)Republicans and Democrats, but that does not mean that all members of either or both parties are confused. I identify as an independent because I do not subscribe to the positions /ideals/dogma of either party. I am definitely not confused about my beliefs, but rather find somethings positive and somethings negative with the Republican and Democratic Parties. Most postings on this site are so biased one way or the other that there is no room (or desire) for discussion.

    January 8, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  14. baba

    The u.s needs change.. Dems and GOP have failed us in recent times! Vote Jesse Ventura in the next Presidential Election for CHANGE!

    January 8, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    "According to Gallup, the increase in the percentage of Americans who say they're independents is coming at the expense of Republicans more than Democrats."
    --------------------
    Obviously, Americans want moderation in our politicians, which explains why Obama defeated Romney.

    The people are moving away from the Republicans because the extreme makeover that they've submitted to. No doubt, the extremists in party will be the first to stand up and declare that the party is not hard line enough. Or as Gov. Jindal might put it, the party isn't stupid enough.

    January 8, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  16. Country Above the Parties

    The way Tea Party nuts are running the so-called Repugnant Pary of no, no, no, why should it be a surprise. We need more true independent thinking people, not red meat ditto heads of Rush Limbaugh, Glen Back and Sean Hannity.

    January 8, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    -yolanda

    Sorry Dutch, but who are you to pass judgement on what an Independent is or is not. To be an Independent is exactly what the word implies, independent. How does that equate to being confused? I would posit that there are a hell of a lot of confused (and conflicted)Republicans and Democrats, but that does not mean that all members of either or both parties are confused. I identify as an independent because I do not subscribe to the positions /ideals/dogma of either party. I am definitely not confused about my beliefs, but rather find somethings positive and somethings negative with the Republican and Democratic Parties. Most postings on this site are so biased one way or the other that there is no room (or desire) for discussion.
    ******************
    I heartily agree.

    January 8, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  18. Dennis Freeman

    Don't count on it. Ask them which way they voted in last few elections and you can bet most will continue just that way.

    January 8, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |