POLITICS

Nearly Half Of Republicans Want Their Party To Be More Conservative

02/27/2015 06:13 pm ET | Updated Feb 27, 2015
Alex Wong via Getty Images

Nearly half of Republicans want their party to move farther to the right, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll. Democrats mostly want their party to stay the same.

Forty-six percent of Americans who either identify as Republicans or lean toward the party said they'd like the GOP and its candidates to become more conservative, while 32 percent said it should stay the same.

In comparison, 49 percent of Democrats said their party should stay about the same, with 26 percent saying it should become more liberal.

Fifty-six percent of self-described Republican conservatives said their party should become more conservative, and 30 percent said it should stay the same. Liberal Democrats were about evenly split between saying the party should become more liberal or should stay the same.

Few in either party wanted to see their candidates become more moderate. Just 13 percent of Republicans said their party should move to the left, while just 10 percent of Democrats wanted to see their party shift to the right.

Overall, Democrats are more likely to be perceived as having drifted from the center. Forty-two percent of Americans say that Democrats have become more liberal in the past few years, compared with 30 percent who say that Republicans have become more conservative.

Members of both parties largely said the other side has become more extreme. Three-quarters of Republicans said Democrats had moved to the left.

Nearly one-third of Republicans said their own party has become less conservative, while just 8 percent of Democrats said their party has become less liberal. Independents are almost evenly split on which direction the Republicans have taken, but a majority said Democrats have become more liberal.

Views of which party is more extreme have changed little since November, when a poll taken just after Republicans swept the midterm elections found Americans about equally divided. The latest survey found an exact tie, with 33 percent of Americans saying the Democratic Party was more extreme, while another 33 percent named the Republicans. The remaining third either said they were unsure, or said both parties were equally extreme.

A Pew Research poll released this week asked a slightly different version of the question -- whether either party was "too extreme" -- and found that half of Americans thought the GOP went too far, compared with 36 percent who said Democrats did.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted Feb. 25 to Feb. 27 among U.S. adults using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov's nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here. More details on the poll's methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov's reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample, rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.

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