The lack of a movement conservative candidate who could capture the hearts of conservatives, may explain the lack of the enthusiasm Republican voters have with regard to the field of presidential hopefuls. This is even more so the case when, according to a new survey done by Gallup, Americans, Independents, and Republicans are becoming more “conservative.”
The Gallup survey found that, in 2011, 40 percent of Americans “described their views as conservative, 35 percent as moderate, and 21 percent as liberal,” and it marked the “third straight year that conservatives have outnumbered moderates, after more than a decade in which moderates mainly tied or outnumbered conservatives.”
Further, Gallup found that “the percentage of Americans calling themselves ‘moderate’ has gradually diminished in the U.S. since it was 43 percent in 1992.” During that period, Americans have increasingly described their views as being more conservative than liberal.
The majority of Republicans, according to the 2011 survey, said they are “either very conservative or conservative” and the total proportion of conservatives increased by 10 percentage points between 2002 and 2012. According to Gallup, 72 percent of Republicans now say they are conservative, as opposed to 62 percent in 2002.
In addition, Gallup found that Independents have increasingly described their views as conservative. In 2008, 30 percent of Independents said they were conservative. In 2011, 35 percent said so.
Because the GOP field does not have a conservative standard bearer, the enthusiasm on the Republican side has been lacking.
A recent Pew Research survey found that the percentage of Republicans “expressing positive views of the GOP presidential field” is below 50 percent. Compare that to January of 2008, when 68 percent of Republicans and those leaning Republican said “they had good candidates to choose from.”
The message for Republicans is simple: Nominate and support more conservative candidates.