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Tue Jun 5, 2012, 07:42 AM

Pew Poll: republicans-older, whiter more conservative; Democrats-more liberal than ever and diverse



Over the past decade, the Republican Party has come to be dominated by conservatives, while liberals make up an increasing share of Democrats. In surveys conducted this year, 68% of Republicans describe themselves as politically conservative. That is little changed from 2008, but is higher than in 2004 (63%) or 2000 (60%).

Demographically, Republicans remain overwhelmingly white and their average age now approaches 50. Fully 87% of Republicans are non-Hispanic whites, a figure which has changed little since 2000.

Meanwhile, the percentage of Democrats who say their political views are liberal has risen from 28% in 2000 to 34% in 2008 and 38% in 2012 surveys by the Pew Research Center. For the first time, there are as many liberal Democrats as moderate Democrats.

In contrast to Republicans, Democrats have grown increasingly diverse. A narrow majority of Democrats (55%) are non-Hispanic whites, down from 64% in 2000. As in recent years, most Democrats are women (59%). And while the average age of self-described Democrats has risen since 2008 from 46.9 to 47.7 Democrats continue to be younger than Republicans on average (47.7 vs. 49.7).

http://www.people-press.org/2012/06/04/partisan-polarization-surges-in-bush-obama-years/

None of this is particularly surprising but nice to see it confirmed like this. Republicans are increasingly dominated by old, white conservatives while Democrats are increasingly liberal and racially and ethnically diverse.

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Reply Pew Poll: republicans-older, whiter more conservative; Democrats-more liberal than ever and diverse (Original post)
pampango Jun 2012 OP
Pab Sungenis Jun 2012 #1
JHB Jun 2012 #2
joshcryer Jun 2012 #3
BlueDemKev Jun 2012 #18
Skinner Jun 2012 #4
Pab Sungenis Jun 2012 #8
Skinner Jun 2012 #9
Pab Sungenis Jun 2012 #14
BlueDemKev Jun 2012 #30
Pab Sungenis Jun 2012 #32
BlueDemKev Jun 2012 #35
Pab Sungenis Jun 2012 #37
BlueDemKev Jun 2012 #39
joshcryer Jun 2012 #10
TheKentuckian Jun 2012 #24
BlueDemKev Jun 2012 #20
Pab Sungenis Jun 2012 #27
BlueDemKev Jun 2012 #28
Pab Sungenis Jun 2012 #31
BlueDemKev Jun 2012 #36
Pab Sungenis Jun 2012 #38
TheKentuckian Jun 2012 #25
Egalitarian Thug Jun 2012 #5
joshcryer Jun 2012 #7
pinboy3niner Jun 2012 #11
joshcryer Jun 2012 #12
Egalitarian Thug Jun 2012 #16
surrealAmerican Jun 2012 #23
Blue_Tires Jun 2012 #33
joshcryer Jun 2012 #6
shawn703 Jun 2012 #13
nxylas Jun 2012 #15
BlueDemKev Jun 2012 #21
nxylas Jun 2012 #34
The2ndWheel Jun 2012 #40
ieoeja Jun 2012 #41
harmonicon Jun 2012 #17
BlueDemKev Jun 2012 #19
dmosh42 Jun 2012 #22
lunasun Jun 2012 #26
BlueDemKev Jun 2012 #29
nxylas Jun 2012 #42
BlueDemKev Jun 2012 #43

Response to pampango (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 07:45 AM

1. So if our party is so much more liberal than ever

 

why do we keep nominating and electing conservative candidates? Why do we tolerate the conservative wing running the party apparatus?

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Response to Pab Sungenis (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 07:51 AM

2. Yes. If we're so liberal...

...why are discussions of "entitlement reform" never along the lines of "you'll cut back Social Security over my dead body"? Why is a tax structure of the general shape we had through almost all of the Cold War treated as foaming radicalism?

I'm not even talking about actual bills that wouldn't get through the Elephant Backside Blockade, but just what's acceptable for public discourse.

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Response to Pab Sungenis (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 07:58 AM

3. The breakdown of congressional democrats is precisely as the poll says.

While I think we could use more congress people, 30%+ of congressional democrats are flaming liberals. Died in the wool.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 09:43 AM

18. Yeah, and 98% of congressional Republicans....

....are die-hard, damn-the-facts right-wingers.

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Response to Pab Sungenis (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 07:58 AM

4. Which conservatives are you referring to?

The current leaders of our party are President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Are they conservatives?

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Response to Skinner (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 08:09 AM

8. "Which conservatives are you referring to?"

 

The current leaders of our party are President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Are they conservatives?


Taking them one at a time...

President Obama,


Yes.

Nancy Pelosi,


No.

Harry Reid,


Yes.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz.


Closer to a moderate than a liberal, but not a conservative.

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Response to Pab Sungenis (Reply #8)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 08:15 AM

9. Oh.

At least that explains where you are coming from.

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Response to Skinner (Reply #9)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 08:39 AM

14. It's been a trend since 1988.

 

Ever since Bush the First tarred Dukakis with the "card carrying liberal" crap, we've been terrified of being labelled as such. Clinton was more conservative in most areas than Dukakis, and certainly more conservative than Mondale.

Kerry seemed to actively run away from the "liberal" tag.

And now we have Obama, who was the more conservative candidate in the final 2008 primaries. More conservative than Bill Clinton, and in economic areas more conservative than Ronald Reagan.

Now, I'm not saying that he's socially conservative. I think socially he started conservative and has been moving towards moderate. But economically he's still playing from the conservative handbook. Socially he's more moderate than Romney, which is why I'm voting for him and Joe Biden again this year.

Liberal Democrats need to start thinking ahead to 2016, when we might have a chance to get a liberal at long last. After Obama's second term the economy should be on firm ground (especially if we can get him to start shifting back towards the New Deal policies we need) and with "peace and prosperity" as our party slogan we can put someone into office who can actually deliver on the change we need.

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Response to Pab Sungenis (Reply #14)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 04:19 PM

30. Even after a quarter-century....

...We are STILL paying the price for Michael Dukakis' stupidity. I will never, ever forgive him for that shitty campaign he ran. He thought he'd ignore the attacks and "leave it up to the decency of the American people."
IMBECILE.

Bernie Shaw gave him such an opportunity with that debate question...he could have easily said, "Who wrote that question for you, George Bush? Bernie, either turn around and apologize to my wife right now for letting that filth come out of your mouth, or this debate is over!"



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Response to BlueDemKev (Reply #30)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 04:30 PM

32. My problem is not with Dukakis, who was an absolute failure, yes.

 

It's with the people who think that the problem wasn't with Dukakis but with his position on the political spectrum.

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Response to Pab Sungenis (Reply #32)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 11:19 AM

35. Dukakis should have fired back "Yeah, I'm liberal and damn proud of it!"

"I don't see a problem with being pro-education, pro-environment, pro-worker, and pro-choice. Do you, George?"

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Response to BlueDemKev (Reply #35)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 11:29 AM

37. Exactly.

 

He was a weak, ineffectual candidate. The real problem was that he was sort of the candidate by default after Hart and Biden were forced out of the race by scandals.

The 1988 primary was in many ways a mirror of 1972. The two big favorites (Muskie and Kennedy in 1972, Hart and Biden in 1988) were taken out of contention early leaving us with second string choices (Humphrey and McGovern in 1972; Dukakis, Jackson, and then-unknown Gore in 1988). From the disaster that was the 1988 convention onward there wasn't a thing Dukakis did right and that, not his liberalism, is why he lost.

The problem was that a lot of party higher-ups took the wrong message from that defeat and decided we needed to make the Democratic Party more conservative to win, instead of making a case for liberal policies. The Republicans, having no message than Democrat=liberal=evil, kept reframing our moderate candidates (mainly Bill Clinton) as "liberal" and we let them get away with it. As a result they had to move even further to the right because agreeing with a "liberal" on anything was out of the question.

So then we, following the DLC's policy of triangulation, needed to put up even more conservative Democrats against these further-right Republicans. Which led to the Republicans responding by moving further right.

So what do we have now? We have a Democratic President who on many issues is more conservative than Ronald Reagan was, and because the Republicans have no choice but to tar him as a liberal and move to his right we have a Republican Party where there would be no room for Nixon, Eisenhower, Bob Taft, Nelson Rockefeller, and certainly not Teddy Roosevelt. They would all be too liberal to be Republicans today.

The question now becomes how do we respond? Do we stand our ground, or do we let the conservatives leading the party move us further to the right?

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Response to Pab Sungenis (Reply #37)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 01:29 PM

39. Well...

...the rightward drift by both parties and the fact that "liberal" remains a dirty word in America today, indicates that the country is steadily moving to the right as it has been over the past 40 years. That is why I'm skeptical of how successful it would be for the Democrats to make a sharp turn to the left. I still feel that being a center-left party is the way to get elected (and the wisest way to govern), but given how ridiculously immature the American people have become I don't know if there IS a successful strategy for us.

"I hate gov't, but I want public services--of course, I can't admit I want public services because then I'd look weak!"

How can you win when your "boss" has this mentality?

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Response to Pab Sungenis (Reply #8)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 08:23 AM

10. That's My Congress rates Reid as a moderate.

http://thatsmycongress.com/senate/

You'll note quite a few Democrats rank as liberal or left of center.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #10)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 10:07 AM

24. Folks like McCaskill, DiFi, Jim Webb, and Baucus. If they are even soft liberals then no wonder

the train is off the tracks. More problematic for me is that the little system seems wholly dependent on what males it to the Senate floor for votes, which is seldom going to be liberal anyway so the whole deal gets skewed to start and I'm not sure with how financial issues are evaluated.

Seriously, when DeMint and Rand Paul are on your approaching the middle list and Wall Street's Senator is pretty solidly liberal it makes me think we are focused on the same things. Fiscal issues were not a major piece of the puzzle in these evaluations.

I see this primarily as a measurement of support for civil liberties within the context of the Senate and secondly on a diplomacy/military outlook on the world stage.

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Response to Skinner (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 09:52 AM

20. Obama, Pelosi, Reid, & Wasserman-Shultz?

Would you prefer to have Romney, Boehner, Angle, and West instead?

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Response to BlueDemKev (Reply #20)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 11:11 AM

27. You see, this is the kind of shit that drives people out of the party.

 

The answer is "no," obviously, but playing this card shows that you have no arguments left for trying to get us to vote for your candidates, and have to resort to the fear card to get us to vote against the Republicans.

None of us want Romney. That's why we're voting to re-elect Obama. That's why we're working for Democratic House candidates and Senators. Even when we look at what we got the last time the Democrats controlled both houses and the White House (i.e.: hippie punching, "pragmatism," and "bipartisanship") we're still doing our best to bring that about again.

But sooner or later there is going to be a breaking point. I'd almost say that it already happened in 2010, since so many liberal Democrats got disillusioned and stayed home which helped put the GOP back in control. The real question is, who learned a lesson from that? Apparently not the Blue Dogs, because they're still badgering us to imagine how much worse things are with the Republicans in control when it should have been them learning not to piss off the liberals because they need us to get Democrats elected.

At some point the liberals are going to get tired of being ignored at best and smacked down at worst. At some point the Blue Dogs who are in charge are going to fracture the coalition our party's had since the 1960's beyond repair.

I'll vote for Obama. I'll work for the Blue Dog my local Democratic Committee wants to run against our GOP Congressman. I'll work and vote for my Senator even though he only rates 54% on liberal causes. But at some point we're all going to get sick and tired of not having a real voice in our party and then we'll all be stuck with a situation we don't really want.

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Response to Pab Sungenis (Reply #27)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 04:12 PM

28. I understand, however...

...politics is often about choosing the lesser of two evils. Furthermore, you have to give the blue dogs a break. No LIBERAL Democrat can get elected from a rural southern district--period. Ain't gonna happen.

The Democrats are FAR CLOSER to our beliefs than the alternative, and given how extreme our enemies have become, this isn't just about winning elections.....it's about saving our country and all the progress we have made over the past 150-some years. I'd rather drop dead than sit back and allow that to happen.

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Response to BlueDemKev (Reply #28)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 04:21 PM

31. If you understand, you won't drop that "would you rather" stuff on people.

 

The more you tell liberals that they have nowhere to go, the more likely they are to go even if it's to nowhere.

And as for no liberal Democrat being able to be elected from a rural southern district -- if they aren't going to vote for Democratic policies why should we elect them?

From January 2009 through January 2011 we nominally had a Democratic House, but there were so many "Democrats" who were actually Republicans in the way they voted that the Republicans actually controlled the chamber.

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Response to Pab Sungenis (Reply #31)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 11:23 AM

36. Even so,

We still have a much better chance at getting progressive legislation through a center-left House than a far-right House.

And, with a Democratic majority, be it nominal or real, there is NO chance of Social Security, Medicare, and employee safety laws being slashed. Protecting the progress we've already made is a victory also.

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Response to BlueDemKev (Reply #36)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 11:34 AM

38. Ummm...

 

And, with a Democratic majority, be it nominal or real, there is NO chance of Social Security, Medicare, and employee safety laws being slashed. Protecting the progress we've already made is a victory also.


Really? Weren't both Social Security and Medicare "on the table" during the early debt ceiling showdowns of the Obama Administration? And it wasn't the GOP that put them there.

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Response to Skinner (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 10:10 AM

25. Pretty much. Pelosi excluded and she can wax limousine at times.

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Response to Pab Sungenis (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 08:00 AM

5. Because "we" don't get to choose. Party leadership determines who will be allowed to run,

 

and they are almost exclusively rich and conservative and still mostly white.

As is most everything else in our country, our political system is collapsing under the strain of the increasing disconnect between the people and their representatives. Outside of Democratic boards like this, I haven't spoken (written) to anyone that was an enthusiastic supporter of the party since the 90's. The clear and growing majority feel abandoned and are holding their noses, closing their eyes and voting for the lesser.

Even in 2008, the enthusiasm was for Barack Obama and the promised change, not the party.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #5)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 08:04 AM

7. Tell that to the Progressive Caucus, why don't ya.

Or maybe send Alan Grayson an email using a right wing talking point that he's one of the %1 because he has money.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #7)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 08:26 AM

11. And its durn conservatives...

...like Co-chair Raul Grijalva.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #11)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 08:29 AM

12. Don't get me started about that muslin Keith Ellison!



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Response to joshcryer (Reply #7)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 09:03 AM

16. You mean the 15% of House members that are universally ignored by the people that matter?

 

Or that one term congressman that the party left swinging in the wind when the republicans came after him? And it's a good thing he does have his own money because that's how he got in in the first place.

Believe me, I wish for nothing in the realm of politics as much as I want principled liberals/progressives to run the show, but that isn't happening and it isn't because most of those that run the party hate their ideas almost as much as the republicans do.

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Response to Pab Sungenis (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 10:05 AM

23. Apparently, there was no "ever" before the year 2000.

I think we may be more liberal than in 2000, but compared to, say, 1970, we are far less liberal.

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Response to surrealAmerican (Reply #23)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 05:15 PM

33. excellent point

Hell, I'd say we area way less liberal than say, 1992

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 08:03 AM

6. Thankfully they'll all die off soon.

Demographics are one way.

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 08:30 AM

13. One big demographic is missing

Voters and non-voters.

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 08:39 AM

15. I think the "older" thing is a bit misleading

The average age of Republicans is only two years older than the average age of Democrats. So predictions that the Republicans will simply die off and leave the world to a rainbow coalition of liberal Democrats seem a bit premature.

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Response to nxylas (Reply #15)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 09:54 AM

21. That, and most people tend to become more conservative as they get older...

...as they become less flexibe to the idea of change.

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Response to BlueDemKev (Reply #21)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 02:46 AM

34. That doesn't necessarily translate to Teabaggerism, though

The baggers grew up in a world that where to be white, male, heterosexual and Christian was to win the lottery in life, and are angry that this is no longer the case. People who grew up in a more diverse world are not likely to have the same reaction. Their conservatism is more likely to be of the "music today is rubbish compared to The Beatles" variety.

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Response to nxylas (Reply #34)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 01:43 PM

40. Maybe an interesting parallel in the global economy

A lot of Americans grew up in a world where to be American was to win the lottery in life, and are angry that this is no longer the case. People outside of the US, who grew up in a more diverse world, are not likely to have the same reaction.

Maybe not exact, but close, as in "American" jobs going overseas.

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Response to nxylas (Reply #15)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 02:54 PM

41. I think they meant older than before, not older than Democrats.


Democrats aged from 47.0 to 47.7.
Republicans aged from 45.0 to 49.7.

And that Republican aging was fairly constant during the 12 year period.


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Response to pampango (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 09:39 AM

17. This does not mean that people are becoming more conservative or liberal.

People were self-identifying. There is no metric there.

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 09:45 AM

19. Conservative Coalition....

...has three (3) components:

- Rich
- Rednecks
- Religious Nuts

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Response to BlueDemKev (Reply #19)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 10:00 AM

22. And much more DUMB!

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Response to dmosh42 (Reply #22)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 10:25 AM

26. maybe could term them the 're uneducated'- or -'reactives'- to fit with the 3 r's

for the dumb who listen to TV ads,rumors,and FOX talk shows to decide on a vote?

repugs have a lot of stupids who are not religious,rednecks or rich- just really dumb

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Response to lunasun (Reply #26)

Tue Jun 5, 2012, 04:14 PM

29. Okay, add "Retards" to the list of R's

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Response to BlueDemKev (Reply #29)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 08:07 PM

42. Not cool

Sorry, but I hate that word.

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Response to nxylas (Reply #42)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 11:54 AM

43. Just speaking their language....

...the language used by tea-baggers, that is, which apparently resonates with the American people.

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