The Republican Party and the Democratic Party have long been the most popular political parties in the United States history. And now, a new report by the Pew Research Center offers a close look at who identifies with each party.
To derive to the results, a total of 10,013 adults were surveyed from January to March of this year and were sorted into groups based on their attitudes and values, not their partisan labels. The report concluded that even among Democrats and Republicans, the publics political attitudes and values come in many shades and hues.
For both parties, two similar but distinct groups form their electoral cores, with a younger, more ideologically mixed group providing crucial but not always consistent support, the authors of the report wrote.
Looking at Republicans, the report found that an estimated 30 percent are considered Steadfast Conservatives, meaning they are socially conservative and are staunch critics of the government.
About 24 percent are Business Conservatives, which are described as individuals who are friendlier toward business interests. And another 17 percent are Young Outsiders, individuals who are fiscally conservative but socially quite liberal.
On the Democratic side, the report found an estimated 32 percent are considered Solid Liberals, who are described as individuals who express liberal attitudes across every realm.
Another 21 percent are part of the Faith and Family Left, meaning they are somewhat more socially conservative than Solid Liberals. And 18 percent are part of the Next Generation Left, meaning they are younger and have liberal beliefs on social issues.
The Pew Research Center report also makes it clear that neither party can depend solely on its largest, most ardent (and often loudest) supporters to win elections. Thats because they dont make up a large share of the total number of registered voters.
For example, Steadfast and Business Conservatives together make up 54 percent of all Republicans, but only 27 percent of registered voters. Similarly, Solid Liberals or Faith and Family Left together make up 53 percent of Democrats, but only a third of registered voters.
Whats more, the report found that there are key differences between the core groups in each party.
For example, on the Republican side, Business Conservatives are more supportive of a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and homosexuality than Steadfast Conservatives. However, areas where the Republican base agrees the most include their disapproval of President Barack Obama, their belief that the government is often wasteful and inefficient and their belief that the government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.
Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, those who lean toward the Faith and Family Left have much more conservative positions on social issues, such as on same-sex marriage, than Solid Liberals. Just 37 percent of Faith and Family Left say they support same-sex marriage, while 93 percent of Solid Liberals say they support it.
But areas where the Democratic base do see eye to eye on includes their approval of Obama, their belief that the government often does a better job than it gets credit for and their belief that immigrants strengthen the country.
Where do you fit in the political landscape? Take the Pew Research Centers political typology quiz to find out.