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Voters Rarely Switch Parties, but Recent Shifts Further Educational, Racial Divergence

“Neither party nets an overall advantage from the 9% of voters who have switched since 2018: Overwhelming majorities of both Republican and Democratic voters have retained their party affiliation over the past two years, a tumultuous period marked by a global pandemic, mass protests against racial injustice and a presidential impeachment. Since 2018, comparably small shares of registered voters in both parties have changed parties. About one-in-ten voters (9%) who affiliated with the Republican Party or leaned Republican in September 2018 now identify as Democrats or lean Democratic. An identical share of voters (9%) who two years ago identified as Democrats or leaned Democratic now align with the GOP. A new study, conducted on Pew Research Center’s nationally representative American Trends Panel, is based on interviews with the same set of 11,077 registered voters on five occasions over the past two years, from September 2018 to July 2020…”

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