November 19, 2019


What do Republican voters want? (Matt Continetti, November 15, 2019, free Beacon)

Rubio and Hawley speak for--and hope to appeal to--the segment of the electorate that the 2017 Pew Research Center political typology identified as "Market Skeptic Republicans." The senators' political logic: Market Skeptic Republicans are the fulcrum on which Trump's fate, and that of the GOP, depends.


On the other hand, Market Skeptic Republicans, who support increased taxes on corporations and say the system is rigged in favor of the rich, are just 12 percent of registered voters and 10 percent of the politically engaged (defined as registered voters who follow politics closely and participate in elections regularly).

Three other groups make up the GOP. "Core Conservatives" are traditional Republicans. "Country First Conservatives" are older than other GOP-leaning groups, have fewer bachelor's degrees, and oppose immigration and involvement overseas. "New Era Enterprisers" are younger, more diverse, pro-immigration, and pro-business.

Together, Core Conservatives and New Era Enterprisers comprise 26 percent of registered voters and 29 percent of the politically engaged. They provide the dominant Republican discourse. The Country First Conservatives and Market Skeptic Republicans supply the critique. As interesting and novel as this critique may be--and perhaps because it is so interesting and novel--it is easy to commit the fallacy of composition and mistake the market-skeptical part for the whole.

It might be argued that, because Core Conservatives and New Era Enterprisers are more reliable GOP constituencies, Market Skeptics are the ones Republicans have to court. But recent elections amply demonstrate that the party does not have a solid lock on college-degree-holding, suburban-dwelling Core Conservatives after all. On the contrary: It is the flight of these voters from the GOP that is responsible for Democratic victories in 2018 and 2019. A thriving party includes all four types.

Public opinion data reveal a Republican Party that, while highly supportive of President Trump, is wary of his behavior, ambivalent over his legacy, and consistent in its beliefs.

A March 2019 poll conducted by Heritage Action found that 52 percent of Republicans agreed with the statement: "I am bothered by some of President Trump's policies and character, but I support him because I agree with many of the things he stands for, and because I don't want the media and the Democrats to defeat him." Sixty-two percent of Republicans identified as either a member of the traditional GOP or a member of the conservative movement. Thirty-two percent identified as part of the Trump movement.

This vocal minority coexists uneasily with more numerous party regulars. An October Morning Consult survey asked 1,218 registered Republicans to name their favorite Republican. Forty-one percent said Ronald Reagan. Thirty-three percent said Donald Trump. "Reagan Republicans are wealthier than Trump Republicans, more highly educated and are more likely to identify as Christian," write Eli Yokley and Joanna Piacenza.

Posted by at November 19, 2019 12:58 PM