CHICAGO – The Illinois Republican Party is overwhelmingly conservative, a new poll says. And while that’s probably not news to the rank and file of the party, it may be a surprise to the ILGOP leaders that tend to lean left and outside the ILGOP’s conservative platform.
The poll, conducted by Battleground Polling during the last week of May, asked 400 Republicans statewide a series of questions. It revealed that 63% of those polled self-identified as “conservative.” An additional 15% consider themselves “fiscal conservatives,” showing a whopping 78% identifying with conservative views.
In contrast, less than a quarter of the IL GOP considered themselves “moderate,” with 4% “social moderate” and 18% “moderate.”
Battleground Polling analyzed the situation:
For many years, various factions in the Illinois Republican Party have struggled against each other for dominance. While Republicans associated with the obstensively apartisan Tea Party Movement is the most recent of these factions to emerge, self-described movement conservatives have struggled with more moderate or “establishment” elements of the party associated with former Governors James Thompson and Jim Edgar since at least the 1980s. Since losing control of the Governor’s Mansion a decade ago, the moderate bloc of the Illinois GOP has seen its control over the party proper wane as well. Battleground Polling began its survey by asking respondents about their involvement in the Republican Party and how they generally identify themselves within the party.
But while a number of those 400 vote Republican, they are not proned to joining organizations identifying themselves as “Republican” or “Tea Party.” Only 15% of those asked said they were members of a Tea Party group and only 29% are members of local GOP organizations.