A majority of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters believe the GOP needs to address major problems and reconsider some positions, according to new polling the Pew Research Center released Wednesday.
In order for a Republican to win back the White House, the Republican Party must address major issues, 67 percent of respondents believe. Also, 59 percent of those polled believe some core GOP policy positions need to change.
“Yet while Republicans may agree on the scope of the problem, there is little consensus over the party’s future course on either policy or strategy,” the Pew Research Center’s report said.
“By 54 percent to 40 percent, Republican and Republican-leaning voters want the party’s leaders to move further to the right. Not surprisingly, conservatives and those who agree with the tea party overwhelmingly favor moving in a more conservative direction, while moderates and liberals would like to see the party take more centrist positions. Yet the more moderate wing of the party is a minority generally and makes up an even smaller share of the likely primary electorate.”
Most agree about guns
The Pew polling queried right-leaning voters about five specific policy issues: guns, government spending, abortion, immigration and gay marriage. Gun policy (58 percent approval) was the only one among those five on which most Republican voters approve of the GOP’s stance.
“On abortion and gay marriage, about as many Republicans want the party to move in a more moderate direction as support a more conservative stance. On both (immigration and government spending) the balance of opinion tilts toward taking a more conservative approach,” reported co-authors Michael Dimock, Carroll Doherty and Jocelyn Kiley.
Who’s the boss?
When respondents were asked to identify the leader of the Republican Party, the top response was “nobody” (22 percent). Speaker of the House John Boehner finished a distant second at 10 percent.
Among prominent Republican figures, Rep. Paul Ryan had the highest favorability rating (65 percent), while Gov. Chris Christie earned the largest unfavorable perception (30 percent).