Monday, September 10, 2012

Survey data on party ID show rural and small-town voters make up 40% of GOP, 30% of Democrats

Recent survey data collected by Frank N. Magid and Associates clearly display the sharp differences between today’s party coalitions. The data, gathered in August from nearly 3,300 Americans between 18 and 85, indicate that a majority of voters who identify with or lean to the Republican Party "are males and members of America’s two oldest generations -- baby boomers, those in their 50s to mid-60s; and silents or seniors who together make up 53 percent of Republicans," write Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais, fellows at the New Policy Institute.

"The GOP coalition is 81 percent white. It is disproportionately Southern (38 percent of all Republicans and 41 percent of strong Republican identifiers) and 40 percent reside in small towns and rural areas. Two-thirds of Republicans are married, and three-quarters are Christian; only 7 percent are unaffiliated with any faith. A third of all GOP identifiers and 42 percent of strong Republicans attend religious services at least weekly. And, not surprisingly, 56 percent of all Republicans and 68 percent of strong Republican identifiers are self-professed conservatives."

By contrast, note the study coauthors, "A majority of Democratic identifiers (from that same data) are women and from the country’s two youngest generations — Millennials, voters in their 20s; and Generation X, people in their 30s and 40s, who in total make up 57 percent of Democrats. Forty-one percent of all Democrats and 45 percent of strong Democrats are nonwhite, with about equal numbers of African-Americans and Hispanics.

Nearly half of Democrats live in the Northeast and West, and a disproportionately large number, 70 percent, live in big cities or suburbs. Just half are married. Only 57 percent are Christian, and about one in five are either of non-Christian denominations or unaffiliated with any faith. Just 21 percent of Democrats attend a religious service weekly. Slightly more, 24 percent, never do. The Democratic coalition is, however, more diverse ideologically than the Republican: While a plurality, 42 percent, are either self-identified liberals or progressives, nearly as many, 35 percent, say they are politically moderate."

Both President Obama and Mitt Romney, Winograd and Hais explain, recognize the emergence of Millennials and have tried to enunciate a "new civic ethos" that will enable their respective parties to build a majority electoral and governing coalition if they wish to dominate U.S. politics in the future. (Read more)

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