Independents: Religious Conservatives Have Too Much Control Over GOP
There are plenty of interesting pieces of data in the new Pew Research survey conducted for the Pew Forum on Religion and Life, but here’s one that may have implications for the 2012 elections:
About half of the public (51%) agrees that religious conservatives have too much control over the GOP. Fewer (41%) agree that liberals who are not religious have too much control over the Democratic Party. These opinions are little changed from August 2008, during the last presidential campaign.
Partisans break along predictable lines in views of the influences over their own party and the opposing party. Independents, by a wide margin (57% to 42%), are more likely than to say that religious conservatives have too much influence over the GOP than that secular liberals have too much sway over the Democratic Party.
Here’s a breakdown on both questions:
Interesting, both white mainline Protestants and Catholics are more likely to believe that religious conservatives have too much sway over the GOP than that non-religious liberals have too much control over the Democratic Party. The implications of this, especially when it comes to independents would seem to be rather clear in that it suggests that the brand of conservatism pushed by Rick Santorum, regardless of how popular it may be inside the GOP, will not play well with the public as a whole. Perhaps the GOP needs to stop identifying itself so closely with such things.