If you want to understand the government shutdown and crisis in Washington, you need to get inside the base of the Republican Party. That is what we are doing in the Republican Party Project and these focus groups with Evangelicals, Tea Party, and moderate Republicans. All the passion, nuances and divisions found expression when we conducted this work in the summer.

Understand that the base thinks they are losing politically and losing control of the country – and their starting reaction is “worried,” “discouraged,” “scared,” and “concerned” about the direction of the country – and a little powerless to change course. They think Obama has imposed his agenda, while Republicans in DC let him get away with it.

Inside the GOP: Report on focus groups with Evangelical, Tea Party, and moderate Republicans 


Click to enlarge

Stan Greenberg, James Carville, and Erica Seifert
Democracy Corps, October 3, 2013

Category: Data Analysis, Politics, Psychology, Think Tank

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

12 Responses to “Inside the GOP: Report on focus groups with Evangelical, Tea Party, and moderate Republicans”

  1. Angryman1 says:

    lol. Obama is out of touch with the Democratic Party, much less impose a “agenda”. Fact is, every 4 years, the Republican “base” dwindles because of death. Most of the “fear” is contrived and forced. At some point your can’t play the senile old man routine anymore and man up. Either that or the young will eat you for dinner……………

  2. stonedwino says:

    Worried, scarred, concerned? How about ignorant & stupid? Jesus…

  3. ilsm says:

    Tea party same fear of “moochers” as among southern whites; many the immigrant poor whites who were imported to dig canals, roads, etc. through yellow fever swamps [because slaves were too 'valuable'].

    Evangelicals read the gospel according to millionaire “preachers”, god will take you in as long as you tithe to build their palaces.

  4. louiswi says:

    Evangelicals, Tea Party, and moderate Republicans.?? Focus groups?? The one group they do not mention is the racist group. If Obama was pure white instead of half white, it would be a different story today.

    • victor says:

      Racist? do you have any evidence? Ever met a racist associated with the TP? Oh, you heard it on MSNBC?

  5. Slash says:

    I work in advertising, so I understand the value of research in knowing what people actually think, regardless of how irrational it is. Unfortunately, most people are extremely irrational, esp. about politics.

    But in general, as an overall strategy for running a country, I wonder for how much longer the Republican party is going to indulge the hysterical, unreasonable, mostly unjustified fears of the most irrational 25% (or so) of their constituents. When are they finally going to cut these people loose, essentially, and say, “You’re grownups, seeing and hearing things you don’t personally agree with (like same-sex marriage) is part of living in a free country. Suck it up and deal or just leave and go to some third party that will be happy to take your money and give you nothing in return but the illusion that diminishing other people’s freedom is the way to run things.”

    I mean, I don’t care what happens to the Republicans, I’m quite happy to see them implode, but I just wonder if enough of them have realized that the deal they made with the Jesus freaks back in the 1980s has blown up in their faces and whatever gains they hoped to get from it have mostly harmed them (long-term). The majority of Americans aren’t (and, here’s hoping) will never be as extreme and unreasonable as that group, and catering to them hasn’t done anything for anybody other than enriching a handful of pseudoreligious con artists and political consultants.

    The “Tea Party” is basically a subset of these idiots, and has even less to offer us, in terms of solutions. Their position is that government is useless (taxation is theft!), so let’s prove it by electing a bunch of incompetents to public office and seeing how much damage they can do.

    None of this, BTW, should imply that I’m perfectly happy with the way the government runs, or with the Democrats. But when your choices are inefficient and often ineffectual vs. actively destructive, you’re forcing me to choose inefficient and ineffectual.

    People who vote for any Tea Party candidate are morons.

  6. Livermore Shimervore says:

    We are seeing the final days of the Republican Party as national party. Florida is a must-win state for any future GOP President and if you look on a county by county basis since Bush vs. Gore, and all big elections since, an obvious trend emerges. The base is shrinking and becoming more extreme. There is virtually zero growth in their numbers state-wide, they are stuck in park. The Tea Party has made the GOP radio-active for Hispanics and moderate women, and you are winning that state without these two groups. There is no winning for a Republican without denying the Democrat Florida.
    The only thing a Democrat going forward needs to do to win the Presidency is lock up the west coast and northeast, (piece of cake), win the rust belt/midweat (piece of cake for a Democrat from that area) and Florida becomes the clincher. The Tea Party types who have prompted Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal to say “we have to stop being the party of stupid” have nothing remotely similar as far as a 1-2-3-4 strategy. George Bush may well be the last Republican President you say for a long time, otherwise they are going to have to run a Republican so moderate that he will be Republican in name only, all of his/her positions will be total conflict with the Tea Party agenda.

  7. Anonymous Jones says:

    This was fascinating. Thanks for posting it. Good lesson for people who are of like mind not to feel too comfortable around each other.

    Never get too confident you’re not crazy just because there are other lunatics in the vicinity.

  8. ottnott says:

    Worried. Discouraged. Scared. Concerned.

    Turn off the cable news and the AM talk radio. Stop opening the email forwards that bounce endlessly from one true believer to another.

    Then try the focus group again.

  9. farmera1 says:

    I do remember from my old days of military history that it only takes about 10% of totally dedicated people of any country to make up an insurgency. If these people are organized enough, dedicated enough, and committed enough they can bring any country to their knees. I think that is where we are. With the Supreme Courts rulings opening the flood gates of money to the 10%, they obviously have the resources and gerry mandering gives them a lot of (undemocratic) political power without fear of any repercussions. It is still to be determined how far they will go, obviously they were reading to default on debts owed by the country. This is strong evidence that they will do anything.

  10. Mattw says:

    On one side we have the party that just wants to help. On the other is the haters.

    The party of help wants to solve all of your problems. They just need some money to make it happen. So they take it from the successful to give it to the failed. Another way to put it – punish the successful and reward the failed. And what is going to happen under this process after a long period of time?

    You know Evangelicals are haters. I guess that means the God of the universe is a hater too. You can’t suddenly redefine the words of the Bible and credibly claim the original definition is for haters. Anyway, didn’t God tell us that you shall reap what you sow? In other words the successful will be rewarded and the failed will be punished. And what is going to happen under this process after a long period of time?

    Didn’t God push us to help one another? Well, yes he did but not to the point where society itself is destroyed. The current path of the US is like a speeding car heading toward a wall. Democrats wants to step on the gas. Republican leaders want the same path but at a slower speed. Evangelicals and the Tea Party want to change direction.