Gallup: GOP States Balloon to 17, Closing in on Democrats' 19

Thursday, 02 Feb 2012 03:33 PM

By Martin Gould

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Republicans are fast closing the gap with Democrats when it comes to the number of states that fall squarely into one camp or the other, Gallup has found.

The number of states now counted as Republican has risen to 17, compared with just five in 2008 and 10 in 2010, according to the polling organization.

Democrats now have 19 in their camp, compared with 36 in 2008 and 25 in 2010. For the purpose of the survey, Gallup counted the District of Columbia, which remains solidly Democrat, as a state.

Fifteen states remain competitive, the survey showed.

Even more worrying for the Democrats is the number of states that Gallup listed as “solid,” — with at least a 10 percentage point advantage over the other party.

The number of solid Democrat states is down from 30 to 12 in four years, while solid Republican states are up from four to 10.

Gallup found that D.C. is the most Democratic place in the country, with more than two out of every three voters pledging allegiance to that party. Hawaii is the most Democratic state. Utah tops the states for Republicans, with 33.9 percent saying they are with the GOP.

The most competitive state of all is now Arkansas, which has a minuscule 0.2 percent edge for the Republicans. The two parties also are separated by less than one percentage point in North Carolina and Virginia.

Gallup said the country as a whole has swung toward the Republicans in the three years of the Obama administration. But it said that followed a huge swing to the Democrats during the George W. Bush presidency.

“Prior to that, the parties were more evenly balanced. So the movement away from the Democratic Party may just be a return to a more normal state of political affairs from an unusual situation, rather than a rejection of the Democrats per se.”

The states that Gallup says are now solid Republican are Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. Those leaning Republican are Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

Solid Democrat states are California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Leaning Democrat are Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Washington, and West Virginia.

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