Sharp Differences by Race, Gender, Generation, Education
WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 7, 2015) — Democrats hold advantages in party identification among blacks, Asians, Hispanics, well-educated adults and Millennials, and Republicans have leads among whites – particularly white men, those with less education and evangelical Protestants – as well as members of the Silent Generation, according to a new analysis of long-term trends in party affiliation among the public by Pew Research Center.
The analysis, which draws upon more than 25,000 interviews conducted by Pew Research Center in 2014, provides a detailed portrait of where the parties stand among various groups in the population and allows examination of partisan affiliation across even relatively small racial, ethnic, educational and income subgroups.
The most notable change in recent years has been the rising share of Americans who reject party labels: Based on 2014 data, 39% of the public identifies as independents, 32% as Democrats and 23 percent as Republicans. This is the highest percentage of independents in more than 75 years of public opinion polling. (Click here to see how partisan identification has changed over the last 75 years.)
Still, many political independents are, in fact, “closet partisans.” When the partisan leanings of independents are taken into account, 48% either identify as Democrats or lean Democratic; 39 percent identify as Republicans or lean Republican. The gap in leaned party affiliation has held fairly steady since 2009.
Among the key findings, a closer look at:
Race and ethnicity. Republicans hold a 49%-40% lead over the Democrats in leaned party identification among whites. The Democrats hold an 80%-11% advantage among blacks, lead by close to three-to-one among Asian Americans (65%-23%) and lead by more than two-to-one among Hispanics (56%-26%). See recent trends.
Gender. Women lean Democratic by 52%-36%; men are evenly divided (44% identify as Democrats or lean Democratic; 43% affiliate with or lean toward the GOP). Gender differences are evident in nearly all demographic subgroups. See recent trends.
Education. People with post-graduate degrees have emerged as a strongly Democratic group: 57% identify with the Democratic Party or lean Democratic, while 35% describe themselves as Republicans or lean Republican. The Democrats’ edge is narrower among those with college degrees or some post-graduate experience (49%-42%), and those with less education (47%-39%). See recent trends.
Generations. Millennials continue to be the most Democratic age cohort; 51% identify as Democrats or lean Democratic, compared with 35% who identify with the GOP or lean Republican. There are only slight differences in partisan affiliation between older and younger Millennials. Republicans have a four-point lead among the Silent Generation (47%-43%), the most Republican age cohort.See recent trends.
Religion. Republicans lead in leaned party identification by 48 points among Mormons and 46 points among white evangelical Protestants. Adults who have no religious affiliation lean Democratic by a wide margin (36 points). Jews lean Democratic by roughly two-to-one (61% to 31%). See recent trends.
The full report is for immediate release and available at: http://www.people-press.org/2015/04/07/a-deep-dive-into-party-affiliation/
Detailed tables: Demographic breakdowns of party identification: http://www.people-press.org/2015/04/07/2014-party-identification-detailed-tables/
Interactive: Explore more than 20 years of party identification data for two dozen demographic subgroups: http://www.people-press.org/2015/04/07/party-identification-trends-1992-2014/
Timeline: Long-term trends in party identification, from 1939-2014: http://www.people-press.org/interactives/party-id-trend/