Among registered voters, 28% call themselves Republicans, a decline of five points since 2004 and only a point above a record low level of Republican self-identification in 16 years of polling by the Pew Research Center, found in March 2008. Nearly four-in-ten voters (38%) identify as Democrats and 34% self-identify as independents. These data are based on more than 28,000 interviews conducted during 2008 prior to the election. Among voters who now identify as Republican or Republican-leaning, roughly two-thirds (68%) identify themselves as conservative, and of the conservatives, three-quarters think the party should turn further to the right. While a majority of moderates and liberals within the party advocate a centrist approach (66%), they make up fewer than a third (31%) of Republican voters overall. As a result, 60% of all Republican voters support a more conservative direction for the party. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.