Elections

Party Unity? GOP Beats Dems Hands Down According To National Report

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Phillip Stucky Political Reporter
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A recent study published by Pew Research Center Monday revealed Democrats often changed their mind between candidates in the months leading to the Democratic National Convention.

Fifteen percent of Democrats supported one candidate throughout the entire primary process beginning in May, 2015. By January, 2016, the race settled with presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton earning 29 percent consistent support; Sen. Bernie Sanders only earned 20 percent consistent support among Democrats from January until the convention.

An astounding 44 percent changed their mind at least once during the primary stage, and 7 percent remained undecided through July. Those preferences also tended to carry over into the general election, according to researchers. Most of the people who remained Clinton stalwarts said they would support Clinton in the general election, 2 percent said they would vote for Republican nominee Donald Trump.

The biggest shift towards Trump comes from the people who shifted their support at least once during the primary process. Nine percent reported they would vote for Trump. Eight percent of the Sanders stalwarts said they would vote for Trump in the general election.

Strong Clinton supporters were more likely to be black or Hispanic, as well as older. Almost 70 percent of Hillary die-hards were over the age of 50. Firm supporters of Clinton were also more likely to have a college degree or higher.

Strong Bernie supporters tended to be younger, less educated and more white compared to the strong Clinton group.

Republicans had a much wider field, with as much as 17 candidates during the height of the primary process. Turnover among supporters was still low compared to Democrats. Thirty-four percent of Republicans supported the same candidate throughout the entire process. Thirty-six percent of Republicans changed their mind only one time, and 24 percent changed their mind two times.

The majority of Republicans who changed their minds joined the Trump train after their favorite candidate exited the race. According to the research, hardly any other candidate received a bump in numbers after the exit of a colleague. Republicans didn’t go back and forth between candidates like Democrats did, and when they did shift candidates, it was in one direction, toward current nominee Trump.

The information was collected from a series of polls taken throughout the primary process in both parties, the report is an analysis of the poll results.

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