From the Pew Research Center Survey Reports The 2004 Political Landscape Evenly Divided and Increasingly Polarized http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=196 The GOP has made significant gains in party affiliation over the past four years, but this remains a country that is almost evenly divided politically _ yet further apart than ever in its political values.... As part of this project, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press also has produced a detailed analysis of recent trends in party affiliation, based on about 80,000 interviews conducted over the past three years. This analysis shows that the GOP, which lagged well behind the Democrats in party affiliation for most of the past century, achieved significant nationwide gains after Sept. 11 and has drawn even with the Democrats. As it now stands, more voters identify with the GOP both in so-called "Red" states _ those that consistently have voted Republican in recent presidential elections _ but also in a number of swing states like Michigan and Florida. At the same time, Democrats have lost ground in swing states and have not picked up adherents in "Blue" states _ those that have gone Democratic in recent elections... (Boldface mine) Republican gains have come across the board, both geographically and demographically. The GOP has made significant increases in party allegiance in 13 of 50 states since 2000, and six of these 13 have been crucial swing states in recent elections such as Florida and Michigan. The Democrats have even lost some ground in states that have gone consistently to the Democratic candidate in recent presidential elections, such as California and Washington. Demographically, there have been increases in Republican party affiliation in nearly every major voting bloc, except among African Americans. Republicans have made some of their greatest gains among Hispanics in the West and Texas, white Catholics and white evangelical Protestants. The changes among religious groups have been dramatic, particularly when current party affiliation is compared to 1987-1988, the first two years of the Pew values surveys. Republicans now hold nearly a two-to-one advantage over Democrats among white evangelical Protestants (44%-23%) and the GOP has drawn even among white Catholics. Moreover, many of the Republican gains among these groups have occurred since the 2000 election. Yet the net effect of all these changes is merely to reinforce the sense of a nation whose political alignment is nearly symmetrical. In interviews with nearly 9,000 registered voters conducted since the Iraq war began, Democrats hold a ten-point advantage in the Blue states; Republicans are ahead by five points in the Red states (37%-32%). And the two parties are dead even in the swing states (33%-33%). Bottom line?? Dead even, but Republicans are gaining.