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QUOTATION: People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. - Walter H. Judd

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2004-10-13 - 10:44 a.m.

Where do you fit?

The Pew Research Center's typology of American voters divides the electorate into ten groups depending on three major elements -- personal values and attitudes, party affiliation, and political participation. Here are the ten groups and their attributes:

On the Right -- Republicans or Mostly Republicans

Staunch Republicans:

COMMENTS: As in 1994, this extremely partisan Republican group's politics are driven by a belief in the free enterprise system and social values that reflect a conservative agenda. Dissatisfied with the state of the nation, Staunch Conservatives pay close attention to what is going on in politics and are highly vocal.
DEFINING VALUES: Pro-business, pro-military, pro-life, anti-gay and anti-social welfare with a strong faith in America. Anti-environmental. Self-defined patriot. Distrustful of government. Little concern for the poor. Unsupportive of the women's movement.
WHO THEY ARE: Predominately white (95%), male (65%) and older. Married (70%). Extremely satisfied financially (47% make at least $50,000). Almost two-thirds (63%) are white Protestant.

Moderate Republicans:

COMMENTS: Although loyal Republicans, these voters split with other GOP groups in their more positive views toward government and politicians, the environment and even Bill Clinton. These upbeat Moderate Republicans strongly believe America can solve its problems. They take conservative positions on social welfare issues, however.
DEFINING VALUES: Pro-business, pro-military, but also pro-government. Strong environmentalists. Highly religious. Self-defined patriots. Little compassion for poor. More satisfied than Staunch Conservatives with state of the union.
WHO THEY ARE: White, relatively well educated and very satisfied financially. Largest percent of Catholics across all groups.

Populist Republicans:

COMMENTS: Populist Republicans stand out for their strong religious faith and conservative views on many moral issues. They are less affluent than other GOP groups, however. Many of their social values are similar to other wings of the Republican Party, yet Populist Republicans tend to favor government efforts to help the needy.
DEFINING VALUES: Religious, xenophobic and pro-life. Negative attitudes toward gays and elected officials. Sympathetic toward the poor. Most think corporations have too much power and money. Tend to favor environmental protection. Almost two-thirds are dissatisfied with the state of the nation.
WHO THEY ARE: Heavily female (60%) and less educated. Fully 42% are white evangelical Protestants.

In the Center -- Independents

New Prosperity Independents:

COMMENTS: Affluent and less religious, this group is basically non-partisan with a slight lean toward the Republican Party. New Prosperity Independents are highly satisfied with the way things are going in the country. A majority approves of Bill Clinton, yet tends to be critical of government. One-third consider themselves Internet enthusiasts. Two-thirds favor having a third major political party in addition to the Democrats and Republicans.
DEFINING VALUES: Pro-business, pro-environment and many are pro-choice. Sympathetic toward immigrants, but not as understanding toward black Americans and the poor. Somewhat critical of government. Tolerant on social issues.
WHO THEY ARE: Well educated (38% have a college degree), affluent (almost one-fourth earn at least $75,000) and young (70% less than age 50). Slightly more men than women (55% to 45%, respectively). Less religious (only 13% go to church weekly).


COMMENTS: The Disaffecteds feel completely estranged from both parties. This financially pressured and pessimistic group is not only dissatisfied with the ability of politicians to help improve things, but also has less faith in America in general.
DEFINING VALUES: Distrustful of government, politicians, and business corporations. Favor third major political party. Also, anti-immigrant and intolerant of homosexuality. Very unsatisfied financially.
WHO THEY ARE: Less educated (only 8% have a college degree) and lower-income (73% make less than $50,000). More than one-quarter (28%) describe themselves as poor. Half are between the ages of 30-49. Second only to Partisan Poor in number of single moms. One-fifth (20%) work in manufacturing.


COMMENTS: These Americans choose not to participate in politics, or are not eligible to do so (noncitizens).
DEFINING VALUES: Somewhat sympathetic toward poor. Uninterested in what goes on in politics. Rarely vote.
WHO THEY ARE: Young (49% under 30), less educated and not very religious. Work in manufacturing, construction and restaurant/retail industries.

On the Left -- Democrats or Mostly Democrats

Liberal Democrats:

COMMENTS: Extremely tolerant on social issues. Champion individual rights and a range of liberal causes. Despite steadfast support for Democratic candidates, many Liberal Democrats prefer to call themselves Independents. Most favor having a third major party.
DEFINING VALUES: Pro-choice and support civil rights, gay rights, and the environment. Critical of big business. Very low expression of religious faith. Most sympathetic of any group to the poor, African-Americans and immigrants. Highly supportive of the women's movement.
WHO THEY ARE: Most highly educated group (50% have a college degree). Least religious of all typology groups. One-third never married.

Socially Conservative Democrats:

COMMENTS: This group differs from other Democratic-leaning groups with its conservative views on many social and political issues. Socially Conservative Democrats are less tolerant of immigrants and gays. Almost two-thirds think people should be willing to fight for the country whether it is right or wrong. Nearly three-fourths describe themselves as working class.
DEFINING VALUES: Pro-U.S., yet disenchanted with the government. Intolerant on social issues. Positive attitude toward military. Think big business has too much power and money. Highly religious. Not affluent but satisfied financially.
WHO THEY ARE: Slightly less educated, older group (27% are women over age 50). Labor union supporters. Higher than average number (62%) are married.

New Democrats:

COMMENTS: Strong faith in President Clinton's platform on a range of social and political issues. They are the most satisfied of any group with the president and the state of the union. New Democrats also include the second largest group of African-Americans.
DEFINING VALUES: Favorable view of government. Pro-business, yet think government regulation is necessary. Concerned about environmental issues and think government should take strong measures in this area. Accepting of gays. Somewhat less sympathetic toward the poor, black Americans and immigrants than Liberal Democrats.
WHO THEY ARE: Many are reasonably well educated and fall into the middle-income bracket. Nearly six-in-ten (58%) are women and 21% are black. Numerous are self-described union supporters.

Partisan Poor:

COMMENTS: Poorest of the ten groups, these voters are very religious, anti-business, and strong supporters of government efforts to help the needy. The Partisan Poor includes the largest group of African-Americans (39%).
DEFINING VALUES: Xenophobic and anti-big business. Disenchanted with government. Think the government should do even more to help the poor. Very religious. Support civil rights and the women's movement.
WHO THEY ARE: Have very low incomes (40% make under $20,000), and two-thirds (66%) are female. Nearly four-in-ten are African-American and 14% are Hispanic. Not very well educated. Pro-labor union. Largest group of single mothers.


Can You guess where I fit?

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