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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Measuring GOP Extremism: What Carville And Greenberg’s Latest Polling Reveals

Measuring GOP Extremism: What Carville And Greenberg’s Latest Polling Reveals

The project’s polling also uncovered bad omens for Republicans among almost all age cohorts. While the Republicans can cite a statistically meaningless 1 percent advantage among Generation X voters, the party has no “generational base” and is strongly disfavored by both Baby Boomers and Millennials.  Indeed, the gap between the parties among upcoming Millennials is nearly 20 points, with only 21 percent identifying as Republican – a data point that Republican leaders may well find terrifying. Moreover, the Republican base is holed up in rapidly depopulating rural areas, while cities and suburbs strongly favor Democrats.

It is also worth noting how alienated moderate Republicans are from their own party, with nearly half regarding it as “too extreme.” Up to 40 percent of moderate Republicans regard their party as “out of touch,” a statement that resonates with 46 percent of Republican-leaning independent voters. Nearly 40 percent of moderate Republicans believe the party is “dividing the country.”

Meanwhile, the project’s survey suggests that Republicans in the dominant Tea Party and evangelical wings of the GOP are increasingly isolated not only from moderates in their own party but from independent voters as well on such issues as abortion, gay marriage, climate change, and by their corrosive hatred of President Obama and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

On climate change, for example, overwhelming percentages of Democrats (95), Democratic-leaning independents (87), Independents (76), and moderate Republicans (62) all agree that strong action must be taken to offset atmospheric warming caused by human activity – while only 23 percent of Tea Party adherents and 34 percent of evangelicals share that scientifically-based perspective.

On gun control, 71 percent of Tea Party adherents feel strongly favorable toward the NRA, while only 34 percent of moderate Republicans and 34 percent of Independents harbor positive feelings toward the gun lobby.

Perhaps most worrisome to Republicans looking toward 2016 with trepidation, the strongly unfavorable attitudes toward Hillary Clinton expressed by Tea Party (75 percent) and evangelical (66 percent) groups within the GOP are not echoed by more mainstream voters. Only 22 percent of independents — and only 34 percent of moderate Republicans – share that negative view of the former Secretary of State, who is widely considered most likely to be the next Democratic presidential nominee.

But Carville and Greenberg promise that this is only the beginning of the bad news for the Grand Old Party – and the future findings of the Republican Party Project will appear first in these pages.

Watch Stan Greenberg announce the launch of the Republican Party Project here.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via

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