Inside the GOP, a report from Democracy Corps
I was wondering what a lot of other people were wondering yesterday. Namely why, if Republicans were claiming their party was being hijacked by a small minority of Tea Party lunatics, did they actually have a majority vote for closing down the government? It’s a statistical conundrum.
A fascinating report entitled Inside the GOP: Report on focus groups with Evangelical, Tea Party, and moderate Republicans explains that to me. It was put out by Democracy Corps, a non-profit Democratic strategy think tank co-founded by Stan Greenberg, and it explains the current mindset of different factions of the Republican Party, inferred from focus groups made up of three types of Republicans: Evangelicals (55%), moderates (25%), and Tea Partiers (20%).
You should read the whole thing, because it’s absolutely fascinating, but I think the explanation of the above-mentioned statistical conundrum is as follows: Tea Partiers are minority, but the largest group, namely the Evangelicals (think Fox News, anti-gay marriage) are behind the Tea Party’s agenda on the Affordable Care Act as well as Obamacare, and together they represent the majority of the Republican Party. Maybe you knew this but I didn’t.
Other things this report brings up:
- how deeply race matters to Evangelicals, especially when it comes to Obamacare,
- how tenuous the alliance is between Tea Party Republicans and Evangelicals, considering Tea Partiers don’t care about social issues like gay marriage and Evangelicals deeply care, and
- just how much Fox News matters in this world.