Focusing exclusively on the initial party identification offered by survey respondents, Republicans are in decline, with Democrats holding relatively steady and independents growing fast. That would not be good news for the GOP, although it does suggest increased volatility. Or, if you focus more on the leaned party identification, the situation is very steady, but it still does not bode well for Republicans in 2016. Leaned party identification is a reliable indicator of how people will vote, at least in a large-turnout presidential election (not so much in midterm years, when the electorate is significantly older, whiter, and more Republican.)
All of this suggests that the widely discussed concerns about the shape of the GOP brand are well founded. "Looking at the national numbers," says Fred Yang, the Democratic half of the NBC News / Wall Street Journal polling duo, "you sure wouldn't know that Republicans just won a big election."