Skip to comments.Republican Forecast: Cloudy (Demographics working against party)
Posted on 09/05/2007 8:21:16 PM PDT by CheyennePress
For Republicans hoping the 2008 campaign will bring a fresh start after the troubled tenure of President Bush, there are sobering signs: Evidence indicates that the party's problems with the American electorate are much bigger than the president and won't go away when he leaves office.
[Trends]suggest a broader erosion of Republicans' appeal. In particular, three groups crucial to Mr. Bush's goal of a "permanent Republican majority" are drifting away: younger voters, Hispanics and independents. - Longtime Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio...found that the party is significantly older and more conservative than it was a decade ago. [He] suggests the Republican Party's increasingly at risk of being seen "as very old-fashioned, very old and not in touch with the realities of today's society." - Mr. Fabrizio thinks Republicans could improve their standing significantly if they find a popular and inspirational presidential candidate...
2006 Congressional Elections
Voters 18-to-29 Democrats--60% Republicans--38%
Hispanics Democrats--69% Republicans--30%
Independents Democrats--57% Republicans--39%
"The state of the Republican Party is worse than any time since Watergate, and arguably this is worse than Watergate," says party strategist Vin Weber, a former congressman, "because that was about an event, whereas this may reflect a trend."
Now Democrats are making inroads in other once reliably Republican states -- among them Florida, Virginia, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Montana and even Mr. Bush's Texas. - By 53% to 42%, Republicans say the party "has spent too much time focusing on moral issues" rather than economic issues.
Republican Party Composition of 18-to-34 years old 2007---17% of party 1997---25% of party
Republicans 55+ 2007---41% 1997---28%
The Fabrizio survey found that just 2% of Republicans are Hispanic, along with 1% who are black. "We've made no progress in 10 years," the pollster says -- not a good sign "in a nation that is becoming more heavily minority."
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
That’s what happens when they flush core values for payola.
These positions are incompatible with what the Republican Party has become.
Adam, your comment bashes Republicans without providing solutions. We can do better. Let’s consider.
What are the ways for the GOP to win over the young, the minorities, the independents, and other swing groups?
“I believe in individual liberty, small government, the US Constitution and the rule of law.”
I agree. I believe in those as well. The GOP certainly adheres more closely to those ideals than the Democrats.
But simply asserting that GOP doesnt follow that (mostly false anyway, and a relative view) doesnt answer the question of why that group is more Democratic. Unless you are brainwashed by the dKos view that GOP is all evil etc. Such a view is false and for conservatives dangerously counterproductive to buy into too, or we end in a tailspin of recrimination, not solution.
It’s like the idiots who went around suggesting it would be good to have a Democrat majority in Congress for conservatives. NOPE. It killed hopes for conservative direction in many, many areas and we instantly have been assaulted by the Democratic majority imposing more attacks on our values, taxing us more, setting us up for more spending, socialist power grabs using global warming as an excuse, ‘gay rights’ that attacks 1st amendment rights, ‘fairness doctrine’, eco-extremism, defeatism in Iraq and elsewhere, more earmarks, corruption and govt waste then ever, and attempts to socialize medicine, with the latest incremental move the expansion of SCHIP, and further ‘entitlement’ spending this time in college loans.
And so on.
Bashing Republicans for not winning on conservative issues is like curing a headache by hitting your head with a hammer.
The stats show a huge gap in the 18-29 year old group. Why? Why are they going for Democrats?
Challenges/reasons could be:
- they are being given so much bias in academia that they are brainwashed into Democratic voting and/or are all a bunch of liberals
- they are democrats because of a few sets of issues of special concern (higher education support?), and if we figure those out we can compete with these groups
- they lack an understanding of the concepts of small govt, low taxes etc. (see first part)
- this is simply a rejection of last few years of Republican governance, in which case we need to fix those - competence,
ending corruption, etc.’
I fear the easy answer for the conservatives ‘oh, just be a stronger cosnervative’ is *not* going to move young voters in our direction. We are going to have to EDUCATE and EVANGELIZE more effectively on our policies and beliefs or we are done for. Yet even the concept that we need to market our beliefs, listen to others, grow and adapt, all these seem foreign to the doctrinaire types who make an assertion and think thats it.
WOSG said: “We are going to have to EDUCATE and EVANGELIZE more effectively on our policies and beliefs or we are done for.”
I don’t think that is the problem. There are plenty of people who enthusiastically endorse our policies and beliefs. What is needed is a demonstration that the Republican party actually fights for the policies and beliefs you describe as “individual liberty, small government, the US Constitution and the rule of law.”
Frankly, after the immigration bill that President Bush pushed, I have to question whether the Republican party represents the rule of law. Considering the ongoing inroads on privacy advocated by President Bush, and the increase in spending on his watch, how can a person demonstrate that the Republican Party is the best guarantor of “individual liberty, small government, the US Constitution and the rule of law?”
I think these are the challenges we face.
“There are plenty of people who enthusiastically endorse our policies and beliefs. “
Maybe you can cite the polls that show 18-29 year olds affiliations and where they stand on the issues we care about.
Let’s talk facts and not assumption.
“What is needed is a demonstration that the Republican party actually fights for the policies and beliefs you describe as individual liberty, small government, the US Constitution and the rule of law.”
Frankly, my concern is simply this: That through mis-education and brainwashing of the liberal publics schools and colleges, the next generation does NOT share these beliefs in individual liberty, small government, the US Constitution and the rule of law.”
I fear we are raising liberal soft-headed socialists.
I wouldn’t mind being proven wrong ... but have you spoken to young people these days? It’s not encouraging!
I just wish freepers would bash Democrats as much as they bash Republicans
Hispanics Democrats—69% Republicans—30%
Way to go Jorge!
Another ten million of your friends invade us and the GOP is over, along with the nation.
To take the just the first of those, "Paying attention", in some cases it's unfortunately not unreasonable for younger voters to feel this way - not because conservatives are not paying attention to such issues, but because they are not paying attention to what such voters think about the issues.
For example one of the big problems in attracting young voters to conservative positions generally is that the necessity for Republican candidates to appeal to social conservatives in Republican primaries, which forces Republican candidates to take unequivocal stands on "values" issues when some such positions are at odds with the beliefs of younger voters.
The result is that to the extent that young voters pay even casual attention to media coverage, they see the face of a party which isn't paying attention to their views.
"Gay marriage" is probably the most dramatic example of this problem,
this poll is from CA, but the trends are similar Nationally.
The problem here is that younger voters have had a different experience than their oldest counterparts: they are more likely to have been taught by openly homosexual teachers, to have openly gay friends or coworkers, they are consumers of a mass consumer culture which tolerates and occasionally even valorized homosexual orientations, and so on.
For these reasons they feel considerably less threatened by homosexuals than their older counterparts and are more likely to frame the debate, to themselves, as a question of of "equal rights" rather than "special rights".
Social conservatives are not going to succeed in arguing these voters out of their opinions, and many younger voters find the attempt somewhere between ludicrous and offensive.
So while such positions may be an effective motivators of "values voters" in the primaries, long term - in national elections - they are a program of likely political suicide.
And each election, as older voters die off and younger voters take their place, the long gets shorter.
Interestingly, this is not because younger voters are necessarily more "liberal" on social issues, for example the youth gap on "gay" issues is not present on "abortion" issues.
I don't know of a graphical presentation of the data, but younger voters closely mirror the opinion of average voters on abortionissues:
So concerns about the"youth gap" do not mean that conservatives should usually abandon what they believe are "principled positions" on the basis of political expediency, but rather that they should accept that the recent era of conservative political ascendancy was to some extent just a normal swing of political opinion rather than a fundamental shift to conservative opinion in all areas, and that they will need to pick their fights carefully in the future, and with an eye to differences and similarities with the views of a majority of younger voters.
Meanwhile, in the short term, it might be wise for social conservative voters to consider the fate of the Democrats in 2000, when a relatively small number of Democrats and independents - voting Green "on principle" - allowed a conservative Republican candidate's accent to the Presidency via a minority of the popular vote.
A few things...
I think the GOP’s problem right now is voter fatigue, mixed with the scandals. They’ve also alienated their base with the immigration issue. But unlike the author, I don’t see this as a ‘trend’. All of these problems can be fixed, sooner than later.
The young people demographic never impressed me. Young people don’t vote.
Thanks for great data and analysis. Scary data too.
Young people think Dems are better on economy and taxes!?!? And Iraq?!? Well, Iraq is understandable if they are bought into the MSM defeatism and critique. A lot of that could simply be that the Dems “hook” the young people on certain issues, and the young people stick around and give them credit on other issues. For example, I think the GOP is way better on environment, even though that is a traditional liberal issue - because I dont like eco-extremism. I listen to GOP views on it.
I would be interested if the generic conservative/moderate/liberal split breaks out differently for the 18-29 crowd than for the general population.
Perceptive of you to separate the abortion and gay rights issue. If anything, we are ready for a massive positive shift in favor of life. It would IMHO be a disaster to cut that short with a ‘pro-choice’ mayor as our candidate.
Gay marriage has a whole other dynamic, where we need to defend a principle while dealing with 4% or more of the population who have extreme single-issue view on it (eg Andy Sullivan syndrome).
We need to defend traditional marriage by being FOR something, ie, FOR western civilization, FOR family structure, FOR children being raised by their biological married parents, etc. and not being ‘anti-gay’.
On economic issues, the GOP have seriously lost its way in terms of COMMUNICATING our belief in limited govt, lower taxes, etc. an LIVING UP to our beliefs.
Last thought, don’t be too dismayed by this. People’s opinions shift, many become more pro-family as they get married and have families. They become more fiscal conservative pro-taxpayer Republicans as they grow up and earn money. They mature in understanding of citizenship and government.
Our challenge is how to educate and intercept the young people at all times and as effectively as possible, so we don’t permanently lose cohorts of people to the Democrats.
The one key thing on our side is that our ideas are right.
I agree. I believe in those as well. The GOP certainly adheres more closely to those ideals than the Democrats.
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