Dan Wasserman of Lightsource has some more thoughts on that Associated Press poll that had 46 percent of respondents Democratic or Democratic-leaning and only 29 percent of respondents Republican or Republican-leaning. He also points to Pollster.com’s database of party ID breakdowns, going back all the way to September 2008.
The 18 percent that self-identify as Republican in AP’s latest is the smallest percentage to identify with the GOP in any survey conducted by any pollster since September 2009. Meanwhile, the 35 percent who self-identify as Democratic in the AP poll is the among the largest percentages to identify with that party in that same time period.
During this time period, it does not appear that any other pollster has found any partisan split close to the nearly 2:1 Democrat-to-Republican advantage the AP poll finds. Most have more Democrats than Republicans, with the Democratic percentages usually in the low 30s and the GOP self-identification percentages ranging in the 20s. At first glance, I don’t see any surveys that have a 17-point split.
Again, it is possible that there has indeed been a sudden, dramatic shift in party-ID numbers triggered by the Osama bin Laden kill. But neither Reuters nor NBC News polls, conducted during the same time, saw the same 2:1 margin. Further polls will help indicate whether AP’s survey first caught a dramatic swing or whether the poll is an outlier.