The Pew Research Center recently published “Five Facts About Consistent Conservatives.” It explains a lot.
Some of what Pew’s research tells us is unsurprising: political participation is highest at the “poles”–both ideological liberals and ideological conservatives participate more than their less ideological fellow-citizens. The category they call “consistent conservative” is heavily dominated by rural folks. When it comes to raising children, conservatives prioritize responsibility, faith and hard work, with faith identified as particularly important; while responsibility led among all five of Pew’s ideological categories, religious faith was chosen by significantly more consistent conservatives than all other groups.
These findings tend to confirm what most observers would have expected. The surprise–at least, to me–came from the conclusion that “Consistent conservatives participate in politics at higher rates than most other ideological groups.”
Half of consistent conservatives, for example, said they had contacted an elected official within the past two years – the highest level of any of our five groups. (The corresponding figure for all Americans, by the way, was 28%.) Consistent conservatives also ranked high on other measurements of political engagement, such as donating money (26%), attending campaign events (24%) and volunteering on a campaign (12%).
Those of us who wonder who elects the scientifically illiterate, the religiously intolerant “Christian Nation” folks, and the other assorted crazies have our answer.
As with so much of life, showing up matters.