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GOP gains voter edge after elections

Slightly more people identify themselves as Republican now than before the November election, according to a new Gallup poll released Tuesday.

But, the poll analysis noted, it’s hard to say how long this “bandwagon effect” will last.

“Americans are also now more likely to align themselves politically with the Republican Party than the Democratic Party,” Gallup found.

Whether the party can retain its support will depend on “what Republicans do with their enhanced power. While they are unlikely to achieve many of their major policy objectives with a Democratic president in office, how they and the president navigate the key issues facing the nation over the next two years will go a long way toward determining where each party stands heading into the 2016 presidential election.”

Republicans last month won control of the Senate for the first time in eight years and increased their already-large majority in the House of Representatives.

Before the election, 43 percent identified themselves as Democrats or leaned that way, while 39 percent sided with Republicans. The latest survey found Republicans with a 42 to 41 percent edge.

Such shifts are common in such elections. After the 1994 midterm voting, where Republicans won control of both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years, Republicans had a 12 percentage point margin. In 2006, when Democrats regained control of both houses, their advantage went up to 22 percentage points.

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