In two posts and an op-ed, I emphasized that this campaign would likely rally partisans much as campaigns traditionally do. Mr. Silver presents some data from the various tracking polls that show that, on average, Obama is currently winning 88% of the Democratic vote, and McCain 85% of the Republican vote. Democratic loyalty is as high or slightly higher than in 2000 and 2004. Republican loyalty is about 5 points below its 2000 and 2004 levels, but obviously it could increase between now and Election Day.
Thus, early fears of fractured or divided parties were overwrought. Party identification, like the economy, is a “fundamental,” one whose impact has become increasingly powerful. In Obama’s case, these numbers also suggest that he is not struggling to win over white Democrats.