by S-Q @ 4:57 PM MDT
A poll says 35% of those surveyed identify with Republicans. Public attitudes seem to be drifting toward Democrats' values.
By Janet Hook, Times Staff Writer
March 23, 2007
WASHINGTON — Public allegiance to the Republican Party has plunged during George W. Bush's presidency, as attitudes have edged away from some of the conservative values that fueled GOP political victories, a major survey has found.
The survey, by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, found a "dramatic shift" in political party identification since 2002, when Republicans and Democrats were at rough parity. Now, 50% of those surveyed identified with or leaned toward Democrats, whereas 35% aligned with Republicans.
What's more, the survey found, public attitudes are drifting toward Democrats' values: Support for government aid to the disadvantaged has grown since the mid-1990s, skepticism about the use of military force has increased and support for traditional family values has decreased.
The findings suggest that the challenges for the GOP reach beyond the unpopularity of the war in Iraq and Bush.