The Future of the Right, and The American Conservative
(The American Conservative) -- by Michael Brendan Dougherty --
In a fascinating article at National Journal, Jonathan Raucuh points to data showing that while more and more people identify themselves as conservative, conservatives are less apt to identify with the Republican party. The largest growing ‘category’ in politics over the last decade are ‘conservative independents’.
"These are “Republican-leaners” — independents who look, sound, and generally vote much as Republicans do, but who reject the party label. According to Pew, early in the 2000s, the electorate contained one Republican-leaner for every three Republicans; by 2010, the ratio was one for every two. Indeed, among registered voters, debranded Republicans have been the only growth category in the past few years, Pew’s data shows."
The data also suggests that there is an increase in demand for serious conservatism.
"From 1997 to 2010, opinion among Democrats and Democratic-leaners changed only a little, and not in a consistent direction. Non-leaning independents grew a notch more conservative. Republicans and Republican-leaners, however, grew much more conservative."
In fact, Republicans are not losing conservatives to the mushy center, but to the right. They sound like TAC readers:
"According to Pew’s surveys, a solid majority of Republican-leaning independents, 55 percent, disapprove of the Republican Party’s leaders, a level that places them closer on the spectrum to Democrats than to Republicans. And they stand out from partisans on both sides for their fervent anti-incumbent sentiment."...MORE...LINK