Understanding the Decline in GOP Self-Identification

It’s easy to make striking claims about the decline in Republican Party self-identification over the past eight years. Their problem, maybe, is that they’ve lost the support of married people—down five points. Or maybe the problem is that they’re down six points in the west. But the real problem is that the decline is so across-the-board that it’s easy to pull facts out of context. What I think is interesting to do is understand that the overall Republican decline in self-identification has been five percentage points, so then we can try to set that as the baseline and see where their declines have been concentrated. Here, for example, are the normalized declines by age cohort:


The sinking tide brought the GOP down among all groups. But relative to the average, the Republicans are declining a lot among young voters whereas senior citizens are (relatively!) non-disillusioned. Similarly, the Republicans declined by a less-than-average amount from their already low standing among non-whites. The decline among the (substantially larger) group of whites was, by contrast, a bit sharper than average.