Sixty-eight percent of all polled and 69% of registered voters think the Republican Party is out of touch with the concerns of most people, according to a new Washington Post/ABC poll. Only 28% think they are in touch.
Asked, “Q: Do you think the Republican party is in touch with the concerns of most people in the United States today, or is it out of touch?”
Broken down by party ID, only 12% of Democrats think Republicans are in touch, which is to be expected, but a mere 27% of Independents think the GOP is in touch. Of course, 57% of Republicans think the party is in touch, but only 39% of conservatives agree.
Only 30% of whites think the GOP is in touch, and Hispanics lead with 32% thinking the GOP is in touch.
More surprising, 32% of young people think the GOP is in touch, while only 26% of the age group of 40-64 think so, and only 28% of the GOP base, age 65+, think so.
While 30% of some High School or less think the GOP is in touch, only 23% of Post grad agree. But 30% of college graduates think the GOP is in touch.
Broken down by income there isn’t much disagreement at all, in fact, the $100k+ and the $50-100k groups fell right at 29%, and the less than $50ks came in at 30% who think the GOP is in touch.
And by region, things are no better for the GOP. If only all of these folks voted. In the South and Midwest, only 26% of adults think the GOP is in touch. The Republican Party fares better in the West and Northeast.
In case you’ve ever wondered why Republicans cater so much to the far right religious crowd, it’s because basically that’s all they have now. White, evangelical protestants gave the GOP 35% who think the party is in touch, with white Catholics following at 31%. White non-evangelical Protestants only gave them 28% and the people who categorized themselves as having no religion only gave the GOP 23% who believe they are in touch.
What this poll suggests is that the GOP is not even hanging on to their base in terms of being seen as in touch. After all, 48% think the Democratic Party is in touch with the concerns of most people, and an even 48% disagree, while a full 68% think the GOP is out of touch.
However, this same poll suggests that while the Democratic Party wins on issues like raising the minimum wage, these factors are not going to translate to the 2014 election. Democrats even won by 1% on which party is better at handling taxes, yet when voters are asked which party they will vote for, even when later they say they are 50% more likely to vote for someone who supports raising the minimum wage, they’re pretty much split.
In a terrifying case of Not Paying Attention Much, “If a candidate for U.S. Congress supports the tea party political movement, would that make you more likely to vote for that candidate, less likely or wouldn’t it make much difference in your vote?” a full 41% said it wouldn’t make a difference.
So, the take away is that while Americans know where they stand on issues, they do not seem to understand what to do about it. This confusion benefits the party that Americans do not think are in touch with them. The goal of the Democratic Party is to translate this predominant lack of trust in the GOP into votes. They can’t do this when they are always playing defense against Darrell Issa’s witch hunts, which is yet another reason why Darrell Issa is conducting them.
However, instead of being so issue specific, Democrats could run with the general mistrust of the GOP and the Republicans’ the hatred of the 47%, in order to connect the dots between the GOP and Mitt Romney’s out-of-touchness. Pretty much no one would want to be associated with Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, or George W Bush – and the Democrats must not let the public forget what Republican leadership means. It is much clearer and easier to paint the party with one image than to try to educate the electorate about more complicated issues like closing the “Gingrich” tax loophole for higher income professionals.
Democrats are supported by the facts and should present their policy based solutions, but they should know that most of the public isn’t connecting the dots. Go with something simple, such as the idea that a vote for a Republican in any office is a vote for laws that benefit the Mitt Romneys of the world.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.