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New PSI Study Paints South Purple

MyDD's Chris Bowers takes the latest Gallup Poll figures for "partisan self-identification" (PSI) for a spin, and it's a sweet ride for Dems. Bowers quotes from a Gallup News Service article by Jeffrey M. Jones:

An average of all national Gallup polling in 2006, consisting of interviews with more than 30,000 adult Americans, finds 34% of Americans identifying as Democrats, 30% as Republicans, and 34% as independents...In 2006, 50% of Americans identified as Democrats or were independents who said they leaned toward the Democratic Party. Forty percent identified as Republicans or leaned to the Republican Party...This is the first time since 1991 that a party's support reached the 50% level.

Bowers explains further:

...the rate of change in favor of Democrats appears to be increasing...The percentage of Democratic self-identifiers, not including Democratic-leaning independents, rose by 2-2.5% during the final nine months of 2006. This might suggest that Democrats are in fact on the verge of a very real realignment....Over the past three years, Republicans have lost their advantage in 14 states, and Democrats have gained a statistically significant advantage in 19 states.

Bowers stops short of a regional analysis, but a look at PSI in the southern states suggests that advocates of the 'skip 'n diss the south' strategy may have some 'splainin' to do. Here's how Gallup rates '06 PSI in a dozen southern states (competitive = within m.o.e.):

AL competitive; ARK Dem; FL Dem; GA competitive; LA competitive; MS competitive; NC Dem; SC Rep; TN competitive; TX Rep; VA Dem; WVA Dem.

Of course the '06 PSI figures are connected more to the way respondents felt about the mid-terms, than how they might vote in a presidential election. However, five Dem, Two GOP and five competitive doesn't look all that red. Dem PSI increased over '05 in FL, VA and NC and declined only in LA, probably as a result of Dem Katrina evacuees leaving the state. Purple, with blue tint rising would be more like it.