At Politico, Bill Scher details how Sen. Jeff Flake, who recently announced his retirement from the Senate after this term, doesn’t really have a home in today’s GOP. Scher points to a new political typology study done by Pew Research Center showing the various groups within the GOP. Flake’s blend of ideas doesn’t really align well with any of them, and certainly not those of the GOP’s current leader, Donald Trump. Scher writes:
According to Pew, the Republican coalition is largely made up for four typologies: Core Conservatives, Country First Conservatives, Market Skeptic Republicans and New Era Enterprisers.
Flake is best categorized as a New Era Enterpriser, defined by Pew as “fundamentally optimistic about the state of the nation and its future … strongly pro-business and generally think[ing] that immigrants strengthen, rather than burden, the country.” More than any other faction of Republicans, New Era Enterprisers shun economic populism; a strong majority believes “U.S. involvement in the global economy is a good thing” and a slight majority says, “banks and other financial institutions have a positive effect on the country.”
New Era Enterprisers also show some flickering signs of social liberalism. For example, they display the most interest in tackling racism, compared with the other Republican segments, with 43 percent contending that more changes are needed to achieve “equal rights” for African-Americans. Furthermore, 54 percent support same-sex marriage. (Flake is not on record in support of same-sex marriage. But he has inched away from rigid social conservatism, voting for an LGBT workplace rights bill in 2013.)
However, New Era Enterprisers are a small piece of Republican coalition, composing about one-sixth of “politically engaged” Republicans.
Read more here.
Fast forward to 2:55 here to hear Laura Ingraham’s analysis of Jeff Flake’s decisions.