Thursday, October 26, 2017

Research: Deepening Internal GOP & Dem Divides

The Pew Research Center's latest study is confirming what the headlines are saying: Both Democrats and Republicans face deep internal party divisions. As causes and candidates ready for the 2018 election cycle, successful targeting and messaging may need to be more complex to build winning voter coalitions. Per Pew's "typology," the Core Conservatives still represent the largest faction (31%) among Republicans, although they represent only 15% of registered voters. They are the traditional male, well-off, fiscal conservatives supporting lower taxes, trade and global U.S. leadership--and the candidates that Steven Bannon's "Trumpism" is targeting. The older, less educated Country First Conservatives, who are wary of immigration and global involvement, make up just 7% of registered voters. Can they find an uneasy alliance against the "establishment" with the Market Skeptic Republicans, representing another 12% of registered voters? Most of the Market Skeptics are suspicious of financial institutions and government (and even back raising corporate taxes). Finally, the younger and more ethnically diverse New Era Enterprisers, a la Florida's Sen. Marco Rubio, are both pro-business and positive about immigration, and they hold 11% of voters. These warring GOP factions are divided by issues such as immigration, global involvement and homosexuality, while the Democrats are more likely to argue the best policy to effect agreed-upon ideology. The Democrats, a party of increasing racial, ethnic and financial diversity, are led by the 48% identified as Solid Liberals, who take traditional liberal positions on almost all issues. The Solid Liberals also represent the largest batch of registered voters nationally at 19%. While the less educated Opportunity Democrats agree with the Liberals on major issues, they are more pro-business and make up another 13% of voters. Disaffected Democrats represent another 14% of voters and, despite their moniker, are actually positive about the party, just cynical about government and the "system." Finally, 9% of voters are classified as Devote and Diverse Democrats, who are less affluent and more socially conservative. For details, including survey views on President Trump, see

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