A chart to make Democrats’ blood run cold

Jon Ward | Contributor

It’s a chart to make a Democrat’s blood run cold.

Page eight of a new poll out this week by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press shows which party 28 different categories of voters supported in 2006 – the last midterm election – and who they favor now.

In 2006, 17 categories favored Democrats, which helped them take control of the House and Senate from Republicans. Democrats picked up six Senate seats and 30 House seats.

In the Pew Poll, 23 of the 28 categories of voters now favor Republicans. What’s more, 22 of the 28 categories support the GOP by 49 percent or more. There are only four categories of voters that are under 40 percent: those making less than $30,000 a year, at 39 percent; voters who are unaffiliated with a religion, at 37 percent; black voters, at 10 percent; and Democrats, at 8 percent.

What is most remarkable is how far some categories have swung away from Democrats and toward the GOP.

Democrats have lost a significant advantage with women voters, who supported Democrats by a 48 to 41 percent margin in 2006, but who have now flipped to supporting the GOP by 49 to 43 percent.

Voters over 65 years old were for Democrats by a 48 to 42 percent margin four years ago. They now favor Republicans by 52 to 38 percent. That’s a 20 point swing.

Perhaps most damaging for Democrats, they have suffered huge losses among Independents. Democrats were up 7 points in 2006, by 42 to 35 percent. They now are down 19 points, 49 to 30 percent. That’s a 26-point swing.

That point movement matches exactly what’s happened with white voters in mainline Protestant denominations. Democrats were even with the GOP among these voters in 2006, but are now down by 26 points, 58 to 32 percent.

Geographically, the biggest swing has been in the Midwest, where voters have come back to the GOP in droves. Democrats had an 11-point advantage in the Midwest in 2006, 51 to 40 percent. This year, Republicans are up 16 points, 53 to 37 percent.

The smallest swing of any group away from Democrats – besides black voters, where Democrats have seen only a one point loss – is out West, where they were up 47 to 44 percent in 2006 but are now down 45 to 43 percent.

Even in those four categories under 40 percent support for the Republicans, there has been massive movement away from Democrats.

Take voters unaffiliated with any religion. In 2006, 71 percent of those voters said they supported Democrats, while only 20 percent were for Republicans. Now, Democrats have lost 19 points in this group, while Republicans have gained 17 points. The Democrat advantage went from a gaping 51 points to just 15 points.

Voters making less than $30,000 a year also swung toward Republicans by 14 points, moving to 55 percent support for Democrats down from 62 percent, and to 39 percent support for the GOP up from 32 percent.

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