Contrary to conventional wisdom, the Democrats are more ideologically divided than Republicans—and the Iowa Caucuses proved it. Entrance Polls showed Republican voters expressing near unanimous support for conservative principles: a full 85% described themselves as “conservative” while only 15% saw themselves as “moderate or liberal.”
Among Democrats who participated in the Caucuses, however, nearly a third dissented from the party’s liberal orthodoxy—with 32 percent describing themselves as “moderate or conservative.”
In a general election: a Democratic nominee who appeals to liberals alone will lose a much bigger proportion of his (or her) base than a Republican nominee who appeals to conservatives alone. The differences between Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders involve big disagreements on economics and foreign policy, but differences separating Republicans Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz involve questions of strategy and style far more than substance. Whoever wins the GOP nomination will almost certainly qualify as unequivocally conservative—which is what nearly all Republicans want.