(CNSNews.com) – The number of Americans identifying themselves as Republicans increased from 26 percent before the Republican National Convention to 30 percent immediately afterwards, a Gallup poll released Thursday found.
The Democrats saw a drop in party identification from 37 percent before their convention to 35 percent after the convention. Thus, the Democrats’ national party identification advantage over the GOP has been reduced from 11 points to five.
Republicans also had a larger increase in “leaned” party identification – the percentage of citizens who identified themselves at first as independent but said they leaned to a party compared to the percentage who identify with that party.
Before the convention, 39 percent said they identified with or leaned to the GOP, and afterwards, that number jumped to 47 percent. Conversely, the Democrats saw a drop in “leaned” party identification – 53 percent before the Democratic National Convention down to 48 percent after the convention.
A short-term bump in party identification after the conventions is common – usually a four percent average - but this year Gallup found an eight-point increase in GOP identification and leaning is much like the Democrats’ high in 2000.
The drop in party identification after this year’s Democratic convention is the exception and may be due to the already high number of Americans who identified with or leaned to the Democratic Party this year before the convention began, according to Gallup.
For 2007 and 2008, the Democrats held an advantage on party identification, but this year’s GOP convention, and the exposure it gave to the John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket, resulted in more Americans identifying as Republicans.
The poll was conducted Sept. 5-7 from interviewing 1,022 adults, and it has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.