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The Vanishing TraditionPerspectives on American Conservatism$
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Paul Gottfried

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501749858

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501749858.001.0001

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Republican Voters and Conservative Ideology

Republican Voters and Conservative Ideology

(p.134) 10 Republican Voters and Conservative Ideology
The Vanishing Tradition

George Hawley

Cornell University Press

This chapter addresses what political science literature indicates about the degree of ideological consistency in the American electorate. It explores the degree to which Republican voters meet the basic definition of what is popularly considered conservative. It is shown that those who fit the popular definition are not particularly numerous, even within GOP ranks. Complicating the matter, Republican voters may not be as desirous of maintaining conservative purity as many observers assume. Although most of these voters use the term “conservative” to describe themselves, it is often not clear what they mean by this designation. Quite possibly the conservative media are bestowing on their viewers and readers an inapplicable characterization.

Keywords:   American electorate, Republican voters, conservatives, conservative ideology, GOP, conservative purity, conservative media

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