Following the 2017-2018 cycle, Data for Progress and YouGov Blue ran the What the Hell Happened Project. There, we found that an overwhelming share of Republicans, 77 percent, said they thought of themselves as supporters of Donald Trump rather than supporters of the Republican Party itself. Today, we find that since then support for Donald Trump has begun to collapse within the party along with his gradually falling numbers nationally.
Since 2018 the share of Republicans who say they support Trump over the Democratic Party has fallen eleven percentage points, while higher shares of Republicans have said they prefer to think of themselves as supporters of the Republican Party instead. For context, our surveys show similar things happened to self-identified “Obama Democrats” after he left office — but in his farewell speech President Obama actively encouraged this trend, while Donald Trump actively seeks to subsume the Republican Party brand.
Who are the Republicans who are sticking with Trump? For the most part, they look like ordinary Republicans: generally whiter and older than the rest of the electorate. They show only a few apparent demographic differences from other Republicans.
They are slightly older, by an average of about five years. The average Trump supporter is about 60, and the average GOP supporter is about 55 years of age. For context, 55 is about the age of the typical likely voter in the United States, even accounting for party identification.
Additionally, Trump Republicans are slightly more conservative, though Republicans of most any demographic breakdown identify as overwhelmingly conservative. About 75 percent of Trump supporters, compared to 70 percent of Republican Party supporters, identify as “very conservative” or “conservative.” While this difference is substantively marginal, it is robust to a variety of statistical approaches — that is, Trump supporters with a college degree are still more conservative than GOP supporters with a college degree, Trump supporters 18-29 are still more conservative than GOP supporters aged 18-29, and so on.