The difficulties faced these days by Republicans in Washington and Oregon, and Democrats in Idaho, are underscored by a study released today by the Gallup Poll.
The study as a whole concerned how people identify themselves in terms of political party - Democratic or Republican, leaning to one or the other, or independent. It has been conducting the polls for some years. Nationally, it found that 34% called themselves Democrats or leaned that way, 30% Republicans or leaned that way, and 34% independents.
How do the numbers stack in the Northwest?
In Washington, which the poll again suggests is the most Democratic of the three, the Democrats accounted for 54%, Republican 36% and independents 10%. If that's an accurate measure, Republicans in Washington have some serious work cut out, with an 18% gap to make up.
In Oregon, things are closer but not really close: Democrats 49%, Republicans 41%, independents 12%. (Oregon has one of the higher independent percentages in the country.)
In Idaho, as you might expect, things are reversed - very much so. Washington is the 12th most Democratic state (in this survey) among the 50, and Oregon ranks 24th - smack in the middle. But Idaho is the second most Republican state in the union, behind only Utah. In the Gem State, 54% call themselves Republicans, 35% Democrats and 11% independent - an almost perfect mirror image of Washington.
If Washington is becoming a mirror image of Idaho . . . well, we'll go there another time. But if true, then the current Democratic domination of the legislature, for one thing, may not be a short-term phenomenon.
(See also the analysis of the polling on the MyDD site.)