Greetings readers! It’s been a while, but we’ve all been busy – I’ve been hard at work trying to compile results for the survey mentioned in the last post! Now, a quick note: while I strived to obtain a statistically significant sample size, this is not a scientific poll. That being said, on to the results!
Most who took the survey were Republicans, but I did get some other respondents. The results were split evenly between those who registered the party of their parents, and those who rebelled and went in the opposite direction.
Less people felt pressured by family, friends, and others to vote along a specific party line, and nobody polled had any reservations about revealing their party affiliation. Most reported that they were not affected by the past 2-3 elections, in terms of telling people their affiliation.
The most common reason for not revealing one’s political affiliation was, unsurprisingly, fear of not finding or being turned down for a job. The other prevalent reason was reticence in the face of alienation. Most surveyed will disagree politely and drop the subject of politics in casual conversation, but a close second reported that they vehemently stand their ground and argue their positions. Most felt that they can sufficiently argue their political point, though just as many felt it wasn’t an issue.
Of the people polled, respondents described the public’s view of the Republican Party as: rich, white, educated, and male, among the most common responses. On the other side of the coin, they described their own views of the party as: upper middle class, all ages, all incomes, and all genders. A staggering majority of those polled viewed themselves as outliers in the GOP. Most were either very or somewhat involved with Republican activities, though I must clarify that this is a biased sample in that regard. The distribution of activities those polled were involved in covered everything from making phone calls to precinct walking, and everything in between. Interestingly, most felt that the GOP was severely out of touch with their age group/generation.
Now for the hard data. Wherever the percentages do not add up to 100% for any given category, this indicates where some questions were left blank and thus, not answered. I had 22 surveys that were completely filled, so that is my (admittedly small) sample size.
Question #1 asked for date of birth. I found that, in this sample at least, we had a range from between 1972 and 2000, with a majority tie between people born in 1988, and those born in 1996.
Question #2 asked, “On your voter registration card, what is your political affiliation marked as?” Of the responses, 19 (86.3%) identified as Republican, 0 (0%) as Democrat, 0 (0%) as Independent, and 3 (13.63%) identified as other.
Question #3 asked, “When you first registered to vote, did you automatically register the party of your parents?” It was evenly split between those who did respond (some did not), with 45.5% Yes, and 45.5% No.
Question #4 asked, “When you first registered to vote, was there pressure (from family, peers, etc.) towards a specific affiliation?” 18.2% indicated yes, but an overwhelming 81.8% said no.
Question #5 asked, “Are you open about your affiliation?” Interestingly, 100% of responses said “yes”, but in a more diverse (and possibly less politically active) sample, this probably would not be the case.
Question #6 asked, “How have the last 2-3 elections affected your openness about your political affiliation?” The answer choices were:
- Greatly affected; I don’t reveal my party at all to strangers, peers, etc. 9.1%
- Somewhat affected; I don’t reveal my party as much to strangers/peers 13.6%
- Not affected at all; I have not changed my habits 36.4%
- Somewhat affected; I’m a bit more outspoken about my party ideology to friends, peers, etc. 18.2%
- Greatly affected; I am very outspoken in defense of my party to friends, peers, and strangers 22.7%
This result shows that, while the majority noticed no change in their behavior, a significant number became more outspoken about their beliefs.
Question #7 asked, “If applicable, check any of the following boxes for reasons why you don’t reveal your ideology as much.” The answer choices were:
♦ I’m afraid of being turned down for a job by an employer with a different ideology from mine 31.8%
♦ I’m afraid of losing/alienating friends/business associates 18.1%
♦ My ideology is opposite of/very different from my parents’ 13.6%
♦ My ideology is opposite of/very different from my significant other 0%
♦ I live in a community/neighborhood/building where my ideology is not the dominant majority 4.5%
♦ I don’t want my children/younger siblings/ etc. to be alienated or bullied for my beliefs 0%
♦ I am worried about retaliation on social media sites, blogs, and other websites I frequent 9.1%
♦ The dominant ideologies of my church/faith/beliefs are at odds with my political ideology 0%
♦ Other:_______________________ 9.1%
Jobs are, again, the greatest source of trepidation for young conservatives.
Question #8 asked, “When with friends, colleagues, etc., if the conversation turns to political views that you do NOT hold, do you:” The answer choices were:
- Agree enthusiastically, even if it means lying 4.5%
- Agree briefly to avoid making waves 4.5%
- Ask to change to a different, non-political topic of discussion/Change the subject 9.1%
- Disagree, politely, then drop it 45.5%
- Disagree, vehemently, and continue to argue your viewpoint 36.4%
This was an interesting result, showing that while most of us don’t like to make waves and preserve social connections, almost as many would rather uphold their political and moral views at any social cost.
Question #9 asked, “If you don’t reveal your ideology openly, is it because you feel that you cannot adequately defend your position?” 13.6% answered yes; 40.9% answered no; and 40.9% answered N/A.
We obviously don’t have a problem with confidence and debating skills, as per the results of the last question.
Question #10 asked, “How would you describe the general public’s view of the Republican Party, in terms of age, gender, income bracket, and education level?” This was an open-ended question, but there were some overlaps in individual answers given. 50% of respondents described the GOP as “rich, white, men”. 27.2% said they were “older, male”. 13.6% thought the public sees members of the GOP as “poor, uneducated”.
Question #11 asked, “How would you describe your personal, observed view of the Republican Party, in terms of age, gender, income bracket, and education level?” Again, an open-ended question, yet here too, there was some consensus. 18.2% thought that the GOP is “upper middle class”. 18.2% felt they were “all ages, races, etc.” 9.1% said they were “a variety of income levels”. 9.1% reported that they were “out of touch, out of date”. 9.1% thought they were “middle-aged seniors”.
Question #12 asked, “Do you feel that you are a typical representative of the party? Or are you an outlier?” Interestingly, 22.7% thought they were typical, but 68.2% think of themselves as outliers.
The last three questions are linked, so the responses show a distinct pattern: young people are aware of the societal stereotype of Republicans, they reject that stereotype with their own experience, but they still don’t feel fully a member of the party.
Question #13 asked, “How involved are you with the Republican Party? (Joining groups, organizations, collecting signatures, participating in campaigns/fundraisers, etc.)” The answer choices were:
- Very involved 36.4%
- Somewhat involved 31.8%
- Occasionally involved 9.1%
- Rarely involved 4.5%
- Not involved at all 9.1%
This was a great result, and I’m pleased that so many young people are so involved!
Question #14 asked, “Please list examples of what activities you have been involved in.” The following are the most frequent answers given: Phone calls –13.6%, Tea Party – 13.6%, Campaigns – 22.7%, Volunteering – 13.6%, UCF/YR – 9.1%, BREC – 9.1%, Brevard YR’s – 13.6%, T.A.R.S. – 9.1%, Yard signs – 13.6%, Contributions – 18.2%, Bumper stickers – 13.2%, Voting – 13.6%, Precinct walking – 9.1%.
Question #15 asked, “Do you feel that you are alienated from the Republican Party, either due to your beliefs, your age, or some other factor (such as the party not directly targeting your demographic, or openly disparaging it)?” 9.1% said, “Yes, they don’t consider me a Republican”. 59.1% said, “Yes, they’re out of touch”. 9.1% said, “I’m neutral on this”. 9.1% said, “No, there are some communication issues, but I feel included”. 9.1% said, “No, I’m fully a part of the GOP”.
Based on the results, there were some hypotheses that I had which were confirmed, such as many young people feeling slightly or even severely alienated from the GOP. There were other results however, that I did not expect, such as young peoples’ openness about their affiliation. All in all, it was an interesting study, one that I hope to repeat again someday with a larger sample size.