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Poll: Majority of Republicans Want ‘Conservative’ or ‘Very Conservative’ Nominee

As recent presidential campaign maneuvering and polling would suggest, six in ten Republicans say they want the GOP to nominate either a “conservative” or “very conservative” candidate to be the party’s nominee for 2016.

According to a new Gallup poll released Tuesday, the percentage of Republicans who would prefer a conservative candidate is about on par with the results the poll found before the 2008 election.

Those who would prefer a “very conservative” candidate is up from 15 percent before the 2008 election to 18 percent for 2016, the level of preference for a “conservative” candidate this year is 42 percent compared to 45 percent before the 2008 election.

Meanwhile only about 32 percent of Republicans said they would like to see a “moderate” and  7 percent said they supported the idea of a “liberal” or “very liberal.” Again, the results are similar to the 2008 election when Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) ended up as the nominee.

On the Democratic side, interest in nominating a “liberal” or “very liberal” candidate has increased since 2008 by about 6 percentage points — from 30 percent in 2007 before the 2008 election to 36 percent this year.

Gallup reports that now fewer Democrats are willing to say they would like to see the party nominate a “moderate.” Still, however, most Democrats — 40 percent — say they would prefer to nominate a moderate, down from 48 percent before the 2008 election.

“Because of these shifts, Democrats are now about as likely to say they prefer a liberal nominee (36%) as a moderate nominee (40%), while in 2007, they had a clearer preference for a moderate (48%) than for a liberal (30%). A sizable minority of Democrats, 21%, say they would like to see the party nominate a candidate who is ‘conservative’ or ‘very conservative,’ similar to the 19% who said the same eight years ago,” the Gallup analysis reads.

The poll of 824 adults in the U.S. was taken from December 2-6 and has a margin of error of +/- 7 percentage points.

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