Pew Typology Study

Pew has released an expansive survey of the two coalitions that deserves a closer look. It divides the electorate into nine different groups, eight of which are engaged with politics: Enterprisers, Social Cons, Pro-Gov Cons, Upbeats, Disaffecteds, Bystanders, Con Dens, Dis Dems and Liberals. According to Pew, each group's percentage of the population, percentage of registered voters, two-party turnout, and Bush vs. Kerry breakdown went as follows:
	       Pop %  Reg %  Turnout  Bush  Kerry
Republicans
Enterprisers	 9     11	      93     92     1
Social Cons	11     13	      90     86     4
Pro-Gov Cons	 9     10	      73     61    12

Middle
Upbeats 		11     13	      77     63    14
Disaffecteds	 9     10	      63     42    21
Bystanders	10     0	       3     NA    NA

Democrats
Con Dens		14     15	      79     14    65
Dis Dems		10     10	      84      2    82
Liberals		17     19	      63      2    81
I am not really sure why "Upbeats" aren't just considered Republicans.

Democrats are able to stay close because their groups are larger. In fact, Liberals and Conservative Democrats are the two largest groups, and are equal to the size of the three Republican groups, Enterprisers, Social Conservatives, and Pro-Government Conservatives, combined. Republicans are able to maintain their edge largely through their overwhelming strength among the two "middle" groups that are politically engaged: Upbeats and Disaffecteds. It is worth noting that Liberals are not only the largest group, but also the fastest growing. Since 1999, they have doubled in size.

Turnout did in act slightly favor Republicans. By my calculations from the numbers above, had the turnout between all groups except "Bystanders" been equal to their levels of the population, then Bush probably would have won a very, very narrow popular vote victory, but also probably have lost the electoral college (maybe 284-254, with Iowa, New Mexico and Ohio switching). Certainly, there would have been extensive overtime. While it certainly isn't a cure-all for the crushing and systematic problems with the Democratic Party, we can never ignore the importance of improving turnout among our base.

As the graphic on the right illustrates, when it comes to determining the difference in outlook between the two parties, national security is by far the clearest difference:

In an era when virtually all political issues are seen through partisan lenses, the political typology still finds numerous value cleavages in American society, many of which cut across party lines. In fact, public values about security and the use of military force are among the only value dimensions in which Republican and Democratic groups clearly align on opposite sides, and, even here, the intensity of opinion differs significantly within each coalition. Overall, the analysis finds that the intense partisan divide over security and military assertiveness is the exception, and not the rule. In most cases, there are fissures within the party coalitions that are at least as important as the divide between the parties overall. Anyone hoping to close the so-called "national security gap" between Democrats and Republicans needs to take into account that the clear difference in ideological and policy outlook between members of the two parties is in the area of national security. It is not entirely clear to me how we can close a gap on the issue that most starkly divides the two parties.

Lots, lot more in the study. Give it a look.

Tags: Demographics (all tags)

Comments

17 Comments

A Mini-filibuster on the Floor
Sen. Robert Byrd is currently speaking on the Senate floor about judicial nominees and he's held the floor for about 30 minutes.

If you want to know about the great history of the U.S. Senate, then listening to Sen. Byrd speak is the best way to do it.

I've learned so much just by listening to him for 30 minutes.

by Andre Walker 2005-05-12 10:01AM | 0 recs
Pew data
You can answer some questions at the Pew Research sita and obtain what political type you are.  Among the points Pew made about the Democratic groups:

Liberals have a higher income and education.  They also tend to be non-Hispanic whites.

Both Disadvantaged Democrats and Conservative Democrats have a high percentage of minoroties.  Disadvantaged Dems are more male, Conservative Dems more female.

The Pew Study found that the Republican coalition was shaky particularly among the 2 moderate groups.

Data on the indiviual issues was startling.  Pew found strong support for example for the war in Iraq (56-41 IIRC) and a surprising 2 point edge on the need to reform Social Security (46-44).  A health insurance system that covered everyone paid, if neccessary, by taxes was backed by 65-30.

The yahoo article covering the survey said that moderate Democrats like the ones in the DLC had virtually disappeared since the last study.

by David Kowalski 2005-05-12 11:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Pew data
The yahoo article covering the survey said that moderate Democrats like the ones in the DLC had virtually disappeared since the last study.

Now that's a good bit of news. I like this study a lot already.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-05-12 11:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Pew data
Not exactly. Support for the Iraq War is 49%. Support for keeping the troops there for now is 56%. I also think this poll was taken last December, although I'm not sure I fully understand its data.

Ben P

by Ben P 2005-05-13 02:58PM | 0 recs
Which faction are you?
There's a 1-page questionnaire here that will tell you which of the eight factions you'd be counted under. They don't include the right questions to separate out the ninth group, Bystanders.

Shockingly enough, I'm a Liberal.

By the way, looking at the response breakdown for Upbeats, I think we've found the mythical swing voter.

by catastrophile 2005-05-12 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Which faction are you?
Shocking! That crazy poll accused me of being a no good dirty rotten liberal as well!
by Gary Boatwright 2005-05-12 11:43AM | 0 recs
The liberal tunrout....
... was 63%?
by crazymoloch 2005-05-12 11:25AM | 0 recs
This study confirms the.....
... the notion that Kerry lost the election because of national security concerns. The most fluid voter blocs (read lazy and apathetic) - Upbeats and Disaffecteds, have swung from being pro-Dem in 1994 to being 65-20 pro-Rep in 2005. The only discernable difference between the 90's and today is 9/11.  
by crazymoloch 2005-05-12 11:32AM | 0 recs
Re: This study confirms the.....
Why would the "Upbeats" be considered lazy and apathetic?
by ironmanbretta 2005-05-12 12:11PM | 0 recs
Does seem anemic . . .
Is this the proof we need that Dems need to spend more time energizing their base and less time pursuing the middle?

Looking at the Liberal response breakdown, we see that this group overwhelmingly:

  1. Opposes over-reliance on militarism to fight terrorism;
  2. Thinks government is too involved in defining morality;
  3. Wants to see more environmental regulation; and
  4. Thinks the government should help the poor.

Did Kerry speak to any of these issues? Maybe #4, sorta, in passing.
by catastrophile 2005-05-12 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: The liberal tunrout....
Exactly my worry as well.  63%??!

No wonder we're getting wiped across the floor.

by David Berger 2005-05-12 09:44PM | 0 recs
Re: The liberal tunrout....
I think it's a misprint, it should be 83%.

If you notice, for all the other categories,

Bush% + Kerry% = Turnout%

But for the "Liberal" group, there is a 20-point gap for some reason. Bush% = 2, Kerry% = 81, but Turnout% = 63. It should be 83 (I think), more in line with the others.

by tgeraghty 2005-05-12 09:56PM | 0 recs
This gives me hope...
The Republican Party's current advantage with the center makes up for the fact that the GOP-oriented groups, when taken together, account for only 29% of the public. By contrast, the three Democratic groups constitute 41% of the public. But the imbalance shifts to the GOP's  favor when the inclinations of the two major groups in the center are taken into account - many of whom lean Republican and most of whom voted for George W. Bush.

Downloaded and studying the report.  Aslo studying the Dean supporters report from April that I hadn't seen.

Great Stuff!!!

by lookinforward 2005-05-12 01:31PM | 0 recs
Confused
Earlier opinion analysis by Pew seemed to indicate that independents' political views were trending toward the Democrats, and polls seemed to indicate that independents went for Kerry by about 3 to 2 in November.

Now this study seems to say the opposite -- "independents" (if you take "middle" as equivalent to "independent") are pro-Bush.  What gives? In which categories do the "independents" from the earlier study fall into in this one?

by tgeraghty 2005-05-12 08:09PM | 0 recs
I think middle doesn't indicate independent
That is, there are more lefty "independents" than righties.  How many people have you seen post here or on Daily Kos who say they are registered as Greens or decline-to-state?  A whole lot.  They are lefties and liberals, and also indepedents.
by Geotpf 2005-05-13 09:57AM | 0 recs
Chris, I disagree
I think if there is one area the Dems need to improve on, it is national defense. At least in the short run. Quite simply, the Dems are simply perceived by swing voters as not to be trusted on defense.

See the analsyis of the same data at the Next Hurrah. If there is one thing the Dems need to do, it is to toughen up there defense credentials. Kerry would have won the election if they had.

Ben P

by Ben P 2005-05-13 02:45PM | 0 recs
Overall, though
On domestic policy, there is much to be pleased about. The Creationism thing is a bit dodgy though. Don't care about 10 commandments as Matt Y says. Strong support for abortion rights, stem cell research, against wing nut judges, for universal healthcare.

Only disappointments are the attitudes on gay marriage (but they'll only improve with time) and, as I said already support for teaching creationism.

Ben P

by Ben P 2005-05-13 02:51PM | 0 recs

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