Party hopping in the USA

Shortly before the 2004 U.S. presidential election, I was sipping coffee and shooting the breeze with a lifelong Republican who, now retired, was planning to vote for Sen. John Kerry based solely on Democrats’ fondness for social services. “Now that we’re retired, we gotta think about that sort of thing,” he said. It surprised me, and recently I’ve wondered if the recession and high unemployment has inspired throngs of loyal partisans to pull the same move—left to right, right to left. Probably not, says UNLV Political Scientist David Damore. “What you tend to find is more in terms of strength identification within the party, rather than a wholesale party switch.” Usually, he says, you see more variation in party intensity—Republican to strong Republican, Democrat to strong Democrat or vice versa. We asked Weeklyyo voters, and this is what they said:

19% — I've switched from Republican to Democrat

13% — I've switched from Democrat to Republican

14% — I've joined the Tea Party

53% — My politics haven't changed

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