Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mitch Daniels' Social Values Truce

When Mitch Daniels' implored his fellow Republicans to declare a truce on social values, he probably had access to polling similar to Gallup's May Morality poll. The poll asks Americans whether they find a variety of practices (e.g. polygamy, medical research) and things (e.g. pornography, fur coats) morally objectionable. The Gallup top-line finding is that the most controversial moral issue in America is physician assisted suicide.

More relevant for the Daniels camp (in which I'm lazily including all of the socially libertarian elements of the Republican party), is that Gallup breaks out their findings for the top-three issues by partisan self-identification:

It doesn't take rigorous statistical training to see what's going on here. Democrats and Independents generally are pretty similar groups to one another on social issues. Republicans as a group are "different" from the rest of Americans on social issues. As my statistics professor would say, use the intra-occular impact test:

As a group, Republicans differ sharply from mainstream Americans on social issues.

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