According to the latest survey from the Pew Research Center for People and the Press, the number of voters who identify nationally as Republicans has plummeted since 2001. This is a troubling sign for our party and something we must correct before the 2008 elections. The issues are too important and the consequences are too serious to allow the Democrats to continue defeating Republicans at the polls.
The past six years, during which Republican identification decreased, have been a turbulent time for our party. Budget deficits and a seemingly irresponsible spending party have strained many Republicans’ allegiance to the party. The roots of our party – low taxes, less spending, and limited government – are not clearly represented by many of our elected leaders today. Unfortunately, too much of our party’s attention has been focused on divisive social issues which do little to strengthen the party’s appeal among voters at large.
Republicans can take solace in the fact that, according to the poll, Democratic identification has decreased since 2001, too – though not nearly at the rate as Republican identification. This sets up a unique environment in which both parties must define for the voters their basic principles. I hope that the Republican Party chooses these issues wisely.