August 23, 2013

Younger Republicans think more diverse nominees would help GOP win

FT_Age_GapHere’s some advice from younger Republicans for improving the party’s fortunes in national elections: Nominate more minority and female candidates.

A recent survey of Republican and Republican-leaning adults about the GOP’s future found stark age differences in opinions on the question of whether more diverse nominees would help the party perform better in future elections. (Some of the findings in this post were not included in the original report.)

Among Republicans and leaners under 40, 68% say nominating more racial and ethnic minorities would help and 64% say the same about more women nominees. Far fewer Republicans 40 and older view these steps as helpful: 49% say nominating more racial and ethnic minorities would help and 46% say the same of nominating more women.

More generally, younger Republicans are more likely than older Republicans to say that the GOP has not been welcoming to all groups of people. Overall, most Republicans (60%) think the party “is tolerant and open to all groups of people,” while 36% say it is not. Younger Republicans are divided – 51% say the party is tolerant and open to all, while 45% disagreed. Among older Republicans, twice as many view the party as tolerant (64%) than not (32%).

Based on surveys conducted over the past year, one-third of all Republicans and GOP leaners are under age 40. Those in the younger group are less likely to call themselves Republicans – 59% are Republicans while 41% simply lean toward the GOP – than those in the older group (65% Republicans vs. 35% leaners). Also, fewer younger Republicans and leaners describe their political views as conservative (54% vs. 67% of older Republicans) and fewer agree with the Tea Party (26% vs. 43%).

FT_GOP_PositionsDespite these ideological differences, younger and older Republicans generally agree that the GOP needs to address major problems – rather than just make minor changes – in order to be competitive in the future.

And there are no significant age differences over the party’s future ideological direction: 50% of Republicans under 40 and 55% of those 40 and older favor their leaders moving in a more conservative direction.

However, younger Republicans have a different outlook about congressional compromise. Nearly four-in-ten (38%) said the GOP hasn’t compromised enough with Democrats in Congress, compared with 25% of older Republicans. About a quarter (24%) of younger Republicans believe the party has compromised too much, compared to 36% of Republicans 40 and older. About one-third of each group say the party has handled this about right.

Topics: U.S. Political Parties, Political Attitudes and Values, Political Issue Priorities

  1. Photo of Meredith Dost

    is a research assistant focusing on U.S. politics and policy at Pew Research Center.

  2. is a research analyst focusing on U.S. politics and policy at Pew Research Center.


  1. Steven4 years ago

    It’s not a ‘conservative’ or ‘liberal’ thing. The GOP needs to move more towards libertarianism, we’ve already become moderate. Thanks for not addressing that at all.

  2. AZ WI4 years ago

    2008 in John McCain and again in 2012 with Mitt Romney the GOP came up with the two worst nominees imaginable. What made matters worst in 2012, Romney had McCain running around the country promoting his wars and killings. People were afraid had Romney won he’s appoint McCain Sec of Defense or State. Either office McCain wasn’t qualified for and besides nobody really wants numerous war expect for McCain his puppets and the Defense/Oil Industries that own John McCain!
    As long as the GOP lets McCain and his world warmongering tour continue they’re domed

  3. William4 years ago

    What difference does someone’s skin color make when their ideas are the same as Karl Rove? I’m not kidding.
    There’s a serious need for diversity of THOUGHT. The GOP routinely ignores big picture topics like unemployment, debt, and foreign policy. They never talk about credible education reform. They’re bordering on completely worthless. I say this as a registered Republican and activist!
    The voters ought to clean out the party leadership and tell them they reached their expiration date long ago… the stench is reaching the heavens. They are confused, muddled, stupid, and too many are drunk and/or strung out. I don’t think most of them could read a college level book and report on it faithfully.
    The Democrats have proved such a disaster domestically and internationally, yet the GOP seems completely unphased. Or maybe they’re just unaware, cocooned in Washington, D.C. with their paymasters, prostitutes, and lobbyists.
    Something is deeply, deeply wrong. And it has nothing to do with skin color or genitals. Grow up.

  4. Tracey Henley4 years ago

    These finding are really important! I’m distressed that Pew is releasing them in AUGUST, when no-one’s around! Why didn’t you wait until after Labor Day, when more folks will be paying attn?

  5. Doug4 years ago

    As long as the GOP supports the notion that it is OK for corporate America to work an American 40+ hours a week, and compensate said employee a wage that STILL leaves that American in poverty… The GOP will FAIL!

    For that matter, as long as corporate owned politicians Rep or Dem, allow the aforementioned to occur, America will fail….

    A problem can not be fixed by white washing, brown washing, yellow washing, or black washing…. Yet it seems the young GOP are dumb enough to believe differently!