Following focus groups among three of the factions of the Republican Party, Democracy Corps is releasing its findings on who makes up this fractious party.
- You can't understand the government shutdown unless you understand the GOP from the inside. They think they are losing ground and Obama has won his socialist agenda.
- Obama is big government – but much bigger — they believe he is building dependent minorities that will give the Democrats a governing majority.
- They are very conscious of being white in a country that is increasingly minority--as Democrats use government to build dependency and therefore also their support with minorities. The race issue very much alive.
- Obamacare is the end game for Republicans: Democrats have already built constituencies of dependence based on welfare, unemployment insurance, food stamps, and illegal immigrants. Now add to that the uninsured.
- The problem in DC is not gridlock; Obama has won; the problem is Republicans failing to stop him.
- For Evangelicals, homosexuality is the defining issue and threat.
- Evangelicals and Tea Party dominate the party—making up more than half of all Republicans. They are both cheered by the Tea Party (despite the fact that non-Evangelical Tea Party adherents are social libertarians) because the Tea Party will stand up to Obama, Democrats, and RINOs in the Republican Party.
- Moderates are a quarter of the party, and they matter. They are very conscious of being illegitimate within their own party, which requires being both social and fiscal conservatism. Women especially are open to splitting their tickets if Republican candidates do not represent their views.
- Climate is next and could prove explosive outside the party and divisive within the party as climate skeptics are a majority in the conservative factions.
Read the full analysis at Democracy Corps.