Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology

4. Committed Conservatives

Stalwart Republicans, supporters of Trump – with reservations

Chart shows Committed Conservatives are ...

Staunchly conservative and overwhelmingly Republican, Committed Conservatives hold pro-business views traditionally associated with the Republican Party, have favorable attitudes about international trade and favor a limited role of government. Their approach to international relations centers on engaging with U.S. allies and maintaining American military might.

Committed Conservatives tend to hold more moderate positions on immigration than the two other deeply conservative groups in the Republican coalition – Faith and Flag Conservatives and Populist Right. They also are slightly more moderate than these groups on some issues related to racial and ethnic equality but still more conservative than the Democratic-oriented groups.

While nearly all voted for Donald Trump for president in 2020, and most hold positive views of him today, Committed Conservatives are less likely than Populist Right and Faith and Flag Conservatives to favor a major role for Trump in their party’s future. They are also less likely to say that they like elected officials who publicly take the (unsubstantiated) position that Trump is the “legitimate winner” of the 2020 election. And of the three largely conservative groups in the political typology, Committed Conservatives are the only one in which a significantly larger share names Ronald Reagan than Trump as the best president of the past 40 years (49% name Reagan, 35% Trump).

Political affiliation, voting and engagement

Chart shows most Committed Conservatives identify with the Republican Party
Chart shows Committed Conservatives are among the warmest toward Republicans

Most Committed Conservatives (93%) identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, including 47% who strongly identify as Republicans. Nearly three-quarters (72%) describe their own views as conservative, with 17% saying they are very conservative. A quarter describe their views as moderate, and hardly any (2%) say their views are liberal.

Committed Conservatives feel warmly toward the Republican Party. On a “feeling thermometer” ranging from 0-100, where 100 indicates the warmest feelings, Committed Conservatives give Republicans an average rating of 72, similar to the average rating Populist Right give to Republicans (74) and only slightly lower than the average rating from Faith and Flag Conservatives (77). Committed Conservatives feel coldly toward Democrats, though slightly less so than Populist Right or Faith and Flag Conservatives.

Chart shows Committed Conservatives are highly engaged in politics

This group is one of the most politically engaged. In the 2020 presidential election, eligible Committed Conservatives voted at a rate 12 percentage points higher than all adult citizens and 9 points higher than all eligible Republicans.

In addition, an above-average share of Committed Conservatives say they follow what’s going on in government and public affairs most of the time: 42% say this, compared with 34% of all U.S. adults.

Committed Conservatives: Key political attitudes and beliefs

Committed Conservatives express somewhat greater approval of the job Republican leaders in Congress are doing than Faith and Flag Conservatives or the Populist Right, and much greater approval than those in the Ambivalent Right. As in the other Republican-oriented groups, an overwhelming share (91%) disapprove of Joe Biden’s performance as president.

Chart shows Committed Conservatives: Conservative views on almost all issues, but key points of contrast with other Republican-aligned groups

Along with Faith and Flag Conservatives, Committed Conservatives have the highest share of any group to say that everyone has it in their own power to succeed, and nearly eight-in-ten (78%) say government aid to the poor does more harm than good.

When it comes to foreign policy, roughly half (53%) say that the best way to ensure peace is through military strength, while 45% instead say diplomacy is the best path to peace. Most (68%) say the U.S. should take the interests of allies into account in foreign policy.

Committed Conservatives differ from other Republican-oriented groups in some of their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Two-thirds say the statement “vaccines are the best way to protect Americans from COVID-19” describes their views very or somewhat well, a higher share than in any of the other Republican-oriented groups, including the Ambivalent Right.

Though most voted for Trump in 2020, Committed Conservatives are less likely than some other conservative typology groups to back another run

Chart shows fewer than half of Committed Conservatives say they would like to see Trump run again in 2024

Two-thirds of Committed Conservatives say they would like to see Donald Trump continue to be a major national political figure for many years to come. While this is identical to the overall share of Republicans and Republican leaners who hold this view, larger shares of Faith and Flag Conservatives (83%) and Populist Right (81%) say this (though just 35% of Ambivalent Right do).

While majorities of both Faith and Flag Conservatives (55%) and the Populist Right (57%) say Trump should run for president again in 2024, about four-in-ten Committed Conservatives say the same.

Committed Conservatives: Who they are

About eight-in-ten Committed Conservatives (82%) are White and one-in-ten are Hispanic; far smaller shares are Asian (3%) or Black (1%). Nearly six-in-ten (58%) are men and most (56%) are ages 50 and older, including 31% who are at least 65 years old.

Committed Conservatives are among the most educated of the GOP-oriented groups and are among the highest-income political typology groups. A quarter live in upper-income households, similar to Faith and Flag Conservatives and Establishment Liberals but a higher share than in most other groups.

Nearly seven-in-ten Committed Conservatives (69%) rate their personal financial situation as either excellent or good, compared with half of all U.S. adults. An identical share say they have an IRA, 401(k) or similar type of retirement account, making them the typology group most likely to have this type of account. And 53% say they have personal investments in stocks, bonds or mutual funds in addition to their retirement accounts.

Nearly two-thirds of Committed Conservatives (65%) say they had received all of the necessary shots to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of late August, a smaller share than among any of the four Democratic-oriented groups but a larger share than among Faith and Flag Conservatives or Populist Right (51% each).

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