The term “conservative Republican” may seem like a truism nowadays. But a new Gallup survey answers some interesting questions about just who those conservatives are — and who they are not.
The GOP is growing more conservative. Seventy-one percent of Republicans and Republican-voting independents call themselves conservatives today. That’s up from 62 percent in 2000, when the Bush-Gore presidential election split the country down the middle and had to be settled by the Supreme Court. Conservatives accounted for 66 percent of Republicans in 2006.
The latest Gallup findings say only 29 percent of Republicans are moderates or liberals — yes, this implies the continued but perilous existence of the species known as Republican Liberals.
Conservatives are older — more than 40 percent are 55 years of age or above and thus belong to the American generation that once trusted no one over 30.
Only about one-third of Republican moderates and liberals are north of 55.
Two-thirds to three-quarters of Republican conservatives are Protestant vs. 17 to 22 percent who are Catholic and 5 percent who follow a different religious tradition.