Writings and observations

Breakdowns by party

The new Pew Research Center report on social and political attitudes has gotten considerable national blog attention for its take on Republican and Democratic trend lines. But for this Northwest blog, we were most intrigued by one chart tucked away inside.

It reported on a survey on the components of self-identified Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters, the categories being white evangelical Protestant conservatives, other conservatives, and the moderate/liberal cohort. What got our attention was that this rundown, unlike most others in the report, was broken down by state. Here are a few of those results:

State Evangelical other conservative mod/lib # surveyed
Idaho 23 47 28 148
Oregon 26 37 34 285
Washington 28 33 37 477
National 26 35 37 22,054
Utah 1 62 32 270
California 19 39 40 1,896
Montana 27 36 36 112

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The Oregon and Washington numbers match closely, as you might expect, and both are a close match for the breakdowns nationally.

Idaho is a more complex case. On the surface, you notice the somewhat lower number of moderate/liberal Republicans than in other states (compare it, say, to California). And on the surface, the evangelical percentage seems not especially high. But glance down to Utah, and you’ll quickly realize that the Mormon component of Republican support is included under “other conservatives” (or maybe, rarely, under moderate/liberal), and not under “evangelical”.
If you included the conservative LDS vote with the evangelical vote, you’d likely see half or so, maybe more, of Idaho’s Republican vote belonging as well to those two groups. Given that, the 23% evangelical vote the survey noted seems larger than might have been expected – an enormous factor in Gem State politics, maybe bigger than most people there have realized.

And the Democrats?

The survey is a little less useful for Northwest purposes when it breaks out Democrats and Democratic-leaners – more limited since Pew said Idaho and Montana were among the states which “had too few cases to analyze.”

State Liberal Moderate Conservative # surveyed
Oregon 44 42 12 374
Washington 44 40 13 477
National 31 44 21 24,687
Utah 38 37 22 117
California 38 44 15 2,427

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The results do suggest, though, that Oregon’s and Washington’s Democrats are more liberal and less conservative than nationally, to a greater degree even than in California.

A bottom line: Oregon/Washington Republicans have a makeup similar their counterparts nationally; those states’ Democrats are somewhat to the left of their national counterparts.

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One Comment

  1. Randy Stapilus said:

    One further note: Of the 42 states in which the Republican breakdown is surveyed, only one – Mississippi – has a smaller percentage of “moderate/liberal” Republicans than Idaho (27%, to Idaho’s 28%).

    March 24, 2007

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