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tv   Washington Journal Open Phones  CSPAN  April 8, 2021 12:33pm-12:45pm EDT

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buttigieg. later, senators work on more nominations in the week, including wendy sherman to be deputy secretary of state and the securities and exchange commission chair. the house is back tuesday for legislative business. this week, members are expected to work on equal pay for women legislation and a bill to prevent workplace violence in health-care care and social services workers. president biden's infrastructure and jobs package isn't expected on the house floor until later in the spring or early summer. watch live coverage of the house on c-span, the senate on c-span2 , and follow congressional coverage anytime at c-span.org or listen on the free c-span radio app. usa today running with a story of this gallup poll that just came out and several other publications as well. that first live reading, more americans identifying that they
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are democrats by a margin that hasn't been seen in a decade. that is according to a poll released by gallup on wednesday. joining us via zoom to talk about the result of the report is jeffrey jones, good morning. guest: thanks for having me. host: what prompted you to ask this question? guest: this is something gallup has been tracking for a long time. party identification is a major predictor of how people vote and how they think about issues. gallup has been measuring party id since 1944. starting in 1991, we began to ask independents where they lean. in u.s. politics it is basically a choice of two options. and you push independents to lean you get a better sense of how elections might turn out. host: let's talk about that topline making headlines with more people saying they are
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democrats this year. talk about how that came about. guest: 49% of americans lean democratic. 19% are independents who lean democratic. that is compared to 40% republicans and 15% leaning. we have a nine point gap now, the largest we have measured since the fourth quarter of 2012. host: historically how has this gap shifted over the years? guest: this is pretty consistent throughout the trump administration, democrats have a slight lead. it has been between 4-6 points over the last four or five years. when he gets to double digits are close to double digits, that is pretty rare.
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we saw double digit democratic advantages from 2006-2000 nine. that is when george w. bush was president. his approval ratings were very low. also the beginning of the obama administration and he was very popular at that point. we also saw similar gaps -- certainly we reference the fourth quarter of 2012. also late 1992, early 1993 after clinton was elected. host: if we are seeing more people say they are identifying as a democrat this year, the numbers tell us one thing, what are the driving forces behind that? guest: it is probably less of a shift to the democratic party and more of a shift away from the republican party. if you compare the first quarter of 2021 with the last quarter of 2020, republican identification
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and leaning has dropped three points where democratic identification and leaning has stayed the same. fewer americans identifying as republicans, 25 percent identify outright as republicans. not the lowest we have measured. the low was 22% or that was around the time the government shutdown over obamacare. host: would you say that drop amongst republicans and going towards democrats is the result of the trump administration over all over the time they had an office? guest: i think it is more recent than that. definitely the postelection period after the approval rating went down he left office with 34% approval rating, the lowest of his presidency. the riots played into that. in addition to his approval rating going down and republican identification leaning going
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down. the image of the republican party is 37%. that is pretty low. one of the lowest we have measured for them. probably getting credit for that and we referenced before some of these high points, things are going well for a party, or partly poorly for a different party, you tend to see things
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shift in the direction of either the president is doing well away from the party not doing well. host: talk about the independents, more of them identifying, talk about them as a whole and their impact on all of this. yet, as a whole, 44% of americans identify as independent. that includes those who lean democratic, republican or those who don't lean toward either party. we have definitely seen an increase in independents and the last decade, so the 44% measured the last quarter, that is in the high but it is 46% is the high, but we think consistently over the 40% of independents the past decade, whereas before it was closer to one third, so definitely more americans moving away from the parties. we see that in how people evaluate the party, so going back to the 1990's, especially the early 1990's and part of the
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2000s, most americans had positive views of both parties. now it is rare that americans have a positive opinion of either party. even at this point, a high point for democrats in identification, their favorable opinion is at 48% and still not majority favorable right now. host: what potential of that trend moves upward as you go forward? guest: it really is going to probably be tied to how things go in the country and the extent that biden gets credit or blame for that. a lot of it is driven by the popularity of the presidency as we look ahead to the midterm elections. it is a long time to go, and things have certainly shifted in a much shorter time period then we have until the next election, so this is kind of how we are now. a lot can happen, and, you know, that will end up determining how the elections go.
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host: this senior editor with gallup. you can find more of his work at gallup.com, particularly the server they put out looking at people identifying or how they are identifying politically. mr. jones, thanks for your time. guest: my pleasure. host: with that in mind, for the rest of the hour, you can comment on the trend mr. jones talked about, with people identifying as a democrat and the work on independents as you heard him talk about. you can comment by colleen, (202)-748-8001 for republicans. (202)-748-8000 free democrats. independents, (202)-748-8002, is how you can do that, and comment on the line. if you would like to text s, do so at (202)-748-8003. you can always post on twitter and their facebook page, always open to you if you want at facebook.com/c-span. on the democrat line, we start
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out with linda in akron, ohio, talking about the trends. what do you think about them? caller: good morning. to me, i do not consider it a trend. i consider it -- i'm 71 years old and has been a democrat all my life. what i see is the democratic voters united against trump. i think that, especially on your program, too, we are sick and tired of this being called leftist communist by republicans. we are not communists. we are good people. when you have people in the government like mcconnell or lindsey graham, they are poor representation of any kind of humanity, so, yeah, i am a proud democrat --
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host: but why do you not see it as a trend? or do you see it as something that stays consistent in this administration and going forward? caller: obviously, depending on the future, i think that this will stand. i think biden is doing a pretty good job. i think people are just so happy not to have trump as president that we are under a lot less stress nowadays, so, yeah, i think that this is going to continue, at least i hope so, and unless something really, really terrible happens, there is probably going to be more democrats in the future. host: ok, linda and akron, ohio. annapolis, maryland, next, also on the line for democrats. perry, you are next. caller: good morning.
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hi. i think what is happening with the republicans is an earlier part of my life i was a republican, but they don't stand for anything, and they have no platform or program other than just negative stuff on the pandemic. that is why the prior president lost because of his handling of the pandemic, and you look at all the issues, health care, the border, foreign affairs, education, and there are big issues, issues americans care greatly about. >> we have another member of the president's job cabinet joining us today, secretary of energy. she is the second woman to lead the department of energy, where she will help america achieve president biden's goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. she will do this by

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