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Not since 1983, when Gallup conducted all of its polling in person, has the Republican Party been as unpopular as it is today. Only 25 percent of those surveyed identified with the GOP throughout the course of 2013.

Independents are the fastest-growing group that Americans identify with, at 42 percent. The number of people not identifying with a political party generally rises in an election year, Gallup reports. But independents have been at around 40 percent for the last three years.

Democrats, at 31 percent, are down from their 2008 peak, but still at about what they’ve averaged since 1988.

When independents are asked to identify with a party, Democrats have a 6 percent advantage, which is half of their peak in 2008, but up 1 percent since 2012.



While President Obama’s poll numbers are still underwater on average, with more disapproving than approving, it appears that the lasting damage of the Bush/Cheney administration has been compounded by the government shutdown, which voters largely blamed on the GOP.

But this dissatisfaction may not translate at the ballot box in the 2014 midterms due to the preponderance of safe Republican seats in the House and most competitive Senate races being held in red states. Despite the party identification advantage of 6 percent according to Gallup, Democrats only hold a scant .2 percent lead in an average of generic congressional ballot polls.

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President Joe Biden

Photo by The White House

Two tiresome realities about being president of the United States: first, everybody blames you for things over which you have little or no control: such as the worldwide price of oil, and international shipping schedules. Should there be too few electronic gee-gaws on store shelves to pacify American teenagers this Christmas, it will be Joe Biden’s fault.

Second, everybody gives you advice, whether you ask for it or not. Everywhere you look, Democrats and Democratically-inclined pundits are tempted to panic. “The cold reality for Biden,” writes New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait “is that his presidency is on the brink of failure.” A return to Trumpism, and essentially the end of American democracy, strikes Chait as altogether likely.

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