Polling News

Republicans Weigh In On Party’s Future

January 26, 2023

After the 2022 midterms produced a Republican majority in the House of Representatives for the first time in four years, a Pew Research Center compilation of research discusses how Republicans are positioned and where there are points of unity within the GOP. 

Why It Matters: Coming out of the 2022 election cycle, Republican voters and those who lean Republican are slightly less optimism about the future of the party than they had after previous cycles. There are also points of unity that will help rally the party as the 2024 presidential election approaches. 


By the numbers:

  • 65% of Republicans feel optimistic about the party’s future (down 9 points from the end of the 2020 cycle), compared to 72% of Democrats (down 11 points from 2020).
  • 33% of Republicans feel pessimistic about the party’s future (up 8 points from 2020), compared to 28% of Democrats (up 11 points from 2020).
  • 44% of Republicans believe the GOP will be successful in advancing its agenda in Congress over the next 2 years while 48% of Democrats feel the same about Biden and his agenda

 

The Divisions: A few areas of policy are points of disagreement among parts of the party, according to a 2021 political typology study of the GOP. These largely center around abortion, tax policy, same-sex marriage, and economic fairness. A majority of those belonging to the “ambivalent right” skew moderately on social issues, while “committed conservatives” and the “populist right” are split evenly down the middle. Similarly, a majority of those on the “populist right” believe corporations make too much in profits and that taxes should be raised on higher income earners. 

The Common Ground: Republicans come together on several key issues that can serve as unifiers. The Supreme Court remains largely popular (73% favorable) among Republicans. A large majority favors a more limited government with a greater share of work and economic development being handled by the private sector. Strong national defense continues to unite the GOP, and a big majority of Republicans – 93% – hold unfavorable views of China. Similarly, Republicans are critical of labor unions, technology firms, banks/financial institutions, large corporations, and colleges/universities. The favorable view of Republicans of large corporations has fallen by 28%, and of banks has fallen by 25% since 2019.

The Bottom Line: There are more points that unite the GOP now than divide it. Though optimism about the party’s fortunes has declined in recent years, there are unifying factors that can be used to mobilize elements of the party over the next two years. Looking to a presidential cycle with a much more favorable Senate map, the GOP’s leader must provide tangible actions that unite and motivate Republicans and independents who lean toward the party.  

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