GOP has Grown Older, Whiter and More Conservative
Study finds GOP is less diverse than before and cares little about oppressed groups.
Only time will tell if Mitt Romney manages to eke out a victory over President Barack Obama on Election Day. Whatever the outcome in November, it will likely be harder for Republicans to pull off future victories over Democratic candidates. That’s because Republicans are not only more conservative than they were just a decade ago, they’re also whiter and older than Democrats are — demographics that put them at odds with the U.S. population overall.
The Pew Research Center released a study in June that painted a revealing portrait of the Republican Party.
A staggering 68 percent of Republicans describe themselves as politically conservative. Ten years ago, just 60 percent of Republicans did. In 2004, 63 percent did.
Eighty-seven percent of Republicans are white. That’s far higher than the white percentage of the U.S. population — 64 percent — according to the 2010 census. Moreover, in the Democratic Party, 55 percent of members are white, a reflection of its diversity.
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The average Republican is about 50 years old. The average age for democrats is 47.7 years old.
The Republican Party isn’t only growing older and whiter, it’s also losing members. In 2002, 30 percent of voters identified as Republicans. In 2008, just 25 percent did. Republican identification stood at 30%, but fell to 25% in 2008 and has not recovered since then. Now, 24 percent of voters identify as Republicans. The Democratic Party has also lost members but today 32 percent of voters identify as Democrats, a larger share than those who support the GOP.
Republicans oppose doing whatever it takes, including affirmative action, to help level the playing field for minorities in this country. Only 12 percent of Republicans say the government should do everything in its power to help minorities improve their status in the U.S. Meanwhile, a majority of Democrats (52 percent) agreed.
Just 40 percent of Republicans think the government has a duty to “take care of people who can’t take care of themselves." In 2007, 58 percent of Republicans agreed that the government had a duty to help. In 1987, 62 percent of Republicans agreed, a sign that the GOP has shifted to the far right. Romney supporters (38 percent) are more likely than Obama supporters (22 percent) to say they admire rich people.