The GOP’s Economic Conservatism is Quite Unpopular

An analysis of public opinion data reveals that the stated preferences of the Republican Party, and the Republican presidential candidates, are widely unpopular. If individuals were given a direct referendum style vote on economic policies it is likely they would chose policies that are far to the Left of those favored by the Republican Party.

First I’ll start with a question Gallup asked in 2013:


At first glance, this might seem to show that Americans are fiscally conservative to a considerable extent. However, while it’s clear that Americans aren’t fans of taxation in general, they do support higher taxes on the wealthy, and support the current low amount of taxes payed by the “47%.” Much of the American middle class’s dislike for taxes is a dislike for taxes on them, not taxes on corporations and millionaires.


Americans overwhelmingly support the liberal position on taxation. Just 11 percent want to cut taxes for upper income people and 9 percent want to cut taxes for corporations. Americans also oppose cuts to most government programs:


Even among Republican voters there is little support for cuts. Just 17 percent of Republicans favor a decrease in spending on social security, 21 percent favor a decrease in spending on medicare, which were proposed in the Ryan budget and in the budget proposals of Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. Republicans are more likely to favor increases in spending on both programs, 24 percent favor more medicare spending and 35 percent favor more social security spending.

Obamacare is still relatively unpopular, though recent polls suggest this is changing:



The Republican elite’s desire seems to be to give up the “social issues” and only argue on economics and foreign policy.(where their views are similarly unpopular) They want everyone to be “colorblind,” for race to “not matter.” They should be careful what they wish for. If they got their wish, an election where race, immigration, culture, and the “social issues” did not at all factor in, where it was only a debate about economic policy, they would be slaughtered. They would pick up very few of the Black, Hispanic and Jewish voters they want so much and would lose a very large fraction of their White voters.

The Republicans are only able to win even 47% of the vote because large numbers of Whites vote Republican because of race, culture, guns and social issues. I’m sure some of the Republican elites are dimly aware of this; this is why, despite their clear desire to do so, the Republicans have not passed an amnesty bill. They know their support depends on White people, but the problem is that they are running out of White people, who are going to be a minority in 27 years according to the census bureau. Their solution to this obvious dilemma has been magical thinking, that they are going to somehow get the support of Hispanics. But in 27 years most of the GOP’s elites will be safely retired and the future of the party will be Someone Else’s Problem. The label “Stupid Party” is well deserved.


Taxes, Gallup,

As Sequester Deadline Looms, Little Support for Cutting Most Programs, Pew Research Center, February 22 2013 

Healthcare System, Gallup

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