Thursday, May 12, 2005

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Beyond Red and Blue

The Pew Center has always done some of the smartest socio-demographic analysis of Americans and politics. They have a big new study out that forges beyond some of the cliches and generalizations about red states and blue states we've all come to use. I remember a study Pew did like this about 10 years ago that was terrifically smart and revealing, so I'm eager to read this one. Even when it's stating conclusions that might seem obvious, it grounds them in thick context. Some highlights from the executive summary:

Foreign affairs assertiveness now almost completely distinguishes Republican-oriented voters from Democratic-oriented voters; this was a relatively minor factor in past typologies. ... [Also, w]hile Republican-inclined voters range from the religious to the very religious, the Democratic Party is much more divided in terms of religious and cultural values. Its core constituents include both seculars and the highly religious.

The value gaps for the GOP are, perhaps surprisingly, greatest with respect to the role of government. The Republicans' bigger tent now includes more lower-income voters than it once did, and many of these voters favor an activist government to help working class people. Government regulation to protect the environment is an issue with particular potential to divide Republicans.

I'm eager to read more.

Hat tip: Tapped.

posted by on 05.12.05 at 09:25 AM


In the December survey, Enterprisers (94%), Social Conservatives (88%) and Pro-Government Conservatives (72%) endorsed the war by overwhelming majorities. So too did two-thirds of Upbeats (66%) and half of Disaffecteds.

The Pew peeps should have added a question to gauge a general acquaintance with reality, what with Repub opinion on Iraq being one thing and the consquences of that decision being another. Maybe that info is implied in the "matters of faith" section of the survey.

posted by: Uli Kunkel on 05.12.05 at 09:25 AM [permalink]

I suspect Pew overlooked a synergistic relationship between these factors and family formation rates. I think it necessary to correlate these factors with at least some demographic shifts. Optimism about the future is also involved here.

posted by: Tom Holsinger on 05.12.05 at 09:25 AM [permalink]

Patrick Ruffini indicates I was wrong. Here's his take on, and quote from, the Pew study concerning the issues I thought weren't covered:

Plus, there's evidence that the Democrats will have to rely predominantly on persuasion, and not natural increase, to garner new adherents in the next generation:

"The Republican groups also have higher proportions of married people with children living at home. Four-in-ten Enterprisers are married and have children under age 18 living at home, as do 34% of Pro-Government Conservatives and 28% of Social Conservatives. Among Democratic groups, 28% of Disadvantaged Democrats, 23% of Conservative Democrats, and just 20% of Liberals are married and have children living at home. Conservative and Disadvantaged Democrats are just as likely as Republican groups to have children living at home, but larger percentages are single parents (14% and 19%, respectively)."

posted by: Tom Holsinger on 05.12.05 at 09:25 AM [permalink]

Foreign affairs assertiveness now almost completely distinguishes Republican-oriented voters from Democratic-oriented voters

I kinda wonder if it would be more accurate to say that the Red/Blue split is not assertiveness but which countries to be assertive with. I can think of one country that Blue Staters, moreso than Red, want the US to deal with more toughly: Israel. Are there any other examples?

posted by: Alan K. Henderson on 05.12.05 at 09:25 AM [permalink]

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