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In somewhat big news on the election front, in terms of actually electing people from a certain party, the number of people who identify as conservatives rises, according to Hotline.  But the other option is Democrats?  GOPers are not necessarily conservatives, and Democrats are not necessarily liberals.  What matters n the Gallup poll that Hotline references is party ID–still one of the most solid predictors of elections:

According to Gallup surveys, 49% of Americans identified themselves as Dems, down from 51.5% in ’08. The 2.5-point drop over a year, though, does not tell the whole story; the number of voters who identified with Dems fell a total of 4.5 points between March and Dec.

Meanwhile, the ranks of self-identified GOPers swelled over the same period last year, rising from 38.7% to 42.2%. In short, Dems went from a 13-point advantage in March to just a 5-point edge in Dec.

Worse for the Democrats in 2010 is that independents are leaning GOP more than in the past.

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