A Smart Politics study of the partisan leanings of Minnesota residents finds that the percentage of self-identified Democrats has increased nearly 30 percent since 2005. While the percentage of self-identified Republicans has dropped, it seems the Democratic Party is increasing its numbers largely from converting independents to its side.
Smart Politics examined nearly 40 monthly polls of Minnesota adults conducted by SurveyUSA since May 2005 and aggregated them to determine the yearly average number of Gopher State residents identifying themselves as Democrats, Republicans, and independents.
In 2005, more Minnesotans considered themselves politically independent (36 percent) than affiliated with either major party (31 percent each for Democrats and Republicans).
In 2006, however, when Democrats gained 1 US House seat, 6 Senate seats, and 19 House seats in the state, 35 percent of Minnesotans idenfied themselves as Democrats, compared to 30 percent Republican, and 29 percent independent.
In 2007, the trend continued: an increase for the Democrats (37 percent) and a decrease among Republicans (27 percent), and independents (28 percent).
By 2008, 40 percent of Gopher State residents identify themselves as Democrats, with 27 percent Republican, and just 24 percent independent – a 33 percent drop since 2005.