Tuesday, May 19, 2009

are people leaving the GOP in droves?

In news that made Democrats happy, a recent Gallup analysis reveals that people are moving away from the GOP in almost all demographic areas.

Taking a look at this lovely graph from gallup.com, more young voters and people from the Midwest are de-identifying as GOP (9% change), followed closely by men (at 7%).

In this next graph (also from gallup.com), almost all categories show significant change with the biggest change being the college graduate demographic at 10%. The only demographic that has remained steadfast in its support of the GOP are frequent churchgoers (which is the only category that exhibited no change). People over the age of 65, conservatives, and non-college graduates saw little change in their identification as Republican.
As a proud liberal, I really want this news to make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but it doesn't. The analysis is about party identification. Although some of these people are no longer identifying as Republicans, this doesn't mean that they won't vote conservative in an upcoming election. If anything, this analysis shows that more and more people are ashamed of being associated with the GOP.

And honestly, who can blame them? Yeah, the GOP is in shambles right now but that's beside the point. The point is that the party leaders (Rush, Boehner, et al--I'm looking at you) feel that the best way to turn the party around is to be even more conservative.  I take this to mean that the white, elderly, church-going demographic is far more important to the GOP than young college graduates (which makes me wonder what the future of the party is if young people are averse to identifying as Republicans).

As far as the quest to be even more conservative, I'm not quite sure what their reasoning is, seeing as that the GOP has been catering to the ultra-right for quite some time (and still got their *sses kicked in the last election--you would think they would have heard the message voters were sending). Republicans who dare to suggest appealing to minorities or moderates are immediately shushed by Rush & Co as being RINOs (Republicans in name only). Hey, if the GOP wants to further isolate themselves and create a divide (Real America vs. Fake America), I'm all for it. I think the last election showed just how well that Real vs. Fake sh*t was received by the voting public.

The changes shown in this Gallup analysis do not mean that these people will be voting Dem any time soon. When push comes to shove, when a vote comes down to voting for someone who supports Obama or voting for someone who opposes Obama, I think we all know who they are going to vote for.

So, to answer the question posed in the title of this post, my answer would be no.  I think some conservatives are simply ashamed of the GOP--what it has become and what the leaders propose it will be in the future.


media concepts said...

The bloody civil war/circular firing squad in the Republican party is one of the biggest, and I think underreported, political stories this year. It seems to me that people who no longer identify with the GOP are less likely to vote with the GOP. Maybe they won't vote for Obama or his preferred candidates or issues, but they just might get discouraged or disgruntled enough to stay home and not vote at all. They may also be less likely to donate money, organize, write letters, and do all those important things that help win elections. I think many of them did just that in the 2006 and 2008 elections. So I hope Cheney, Rush, Hannity and the other wingnuts continue their suicidal Republican party purge of moderates who, as we all know, are indispensible to putting together the big coalitions necessary to win elections.

anOCgirl said...

media concepts: i think young people who are turned off by the GOP right now are more likely to vote Dem, but older voters who don't like the GOP right now but really don't like the Dems are definitely not going blue any time soon. i really want to believe every thing you said. really, i do. but i can't. i have too many GOP friends who are not proud of the party at the moment but are not eager to jump on any Dem bandwagon any time soon.

however, i also hope that Cheney, Rush, et al continue their far right crusade exactly for the reasons you stated.

Bilbo said...

I actually left the GOP many years ago, even though I am essentially a fairly conservative type. I'm turned off by both the rabid extreme right wing of the Republicans and the criminally stupid extreme left wing of the Democrats. There's not a party out there for someone like me who is a fiscal conservative and social liberal. I may just be the last of the true Independents.