Just one point separates the 2 parties, according to Gallup's quarterly average -- 46% identify as Dems or say they lean Dem, while 45% call themselves GOPers or GOP leaners. That's the lowest gap between the parties since '05, when the parties were tied.
And while GOPers have been gaining market share among independent voters, Dems have been losing parts of their base. In the last year, the percentages of Dems and Dem leaners have dropped 3 points each, while GOP-leaning independents have increased by 6 points. GOPers and pure independent voters have remained stagnant.
"The six-point rise in Republican support since the first quarter of 2009 is due entirely to a growing proportion of independents who lean to the Republican Party, rather than an increase in the percentage of Americans who identify as Republicans outright," Gallup's Jeffrey Jones wrote in his report.
Just two years ago, Democrats had a 14-point advantage over Republicans in party affiliation.