July-August 2015 – The 2016 presidential election may be more than a year away, but voters are being polled as if it is next week. Pew Research Center for the People and Press recently investigated how political parties have changed over the last two decades.
For Democrat supporters, Pew noted in 1994, 54% believed homosexuality should be accepted. That percentage grew to 74% in 2014. Republican support for homosexuality also increased from 38% in 1994 to 49% in 2014.
Belief that immigrants strengthen America because of their hard work and talents grew from 32% to 68% for Democrats and 30% to 45% for Republicans. Democrats have remained statistically constant over 20 years on the idea of gun control. In 1993, 67% believed it was more important to control gun ownership than protect the right of Americans to own guns. In 2013, that belief only grew by 1%. Forty-seven percent of Republicans believed it was more important to control ownership in 1993. That percentage dropped to 25% in 2014.
Focusing on the 2016 election, NBC News and Wall Street Journal polled Republicans and Democrats to find what they most want in a presidential candidate. According to those polls, Democrat primary voters are most enthusiastic for a female candidate, an African American candidate, or someone over 50. They are least comfortable with a candidate who has no previous election experience or is a leader of the Tea Party movement.
Republicans are most enthusiastic or comfortable with someone with a military background, a Catholic, or a governor. They are least comfortable with someone with no college degree, a homosexual person, or a person with no previous election experience.
nationaljournal.com, 4/23; nbcnews.com, 5/5/15