Can I use "The Republican community" to refer to the community of all American people with Republican viewpoints? If not, what else can I use?

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    What is a republican view point? Do these people have to have all of the views that are on the "republican" list or just one or two of them? Why not just say "republican", meaning someone who is a member of the republican party?
    – ColleenV
    Jul 30, 2018 at 11:41
  • @ColleenV: The person may not be a formal member. He may just have similar viewpoints to Republicans in many of the controversial issues.
    – Shayan
    Jul 30, 2018 at 14:46
  • In the US, there is a continuum of views on many different issues, and people often have mixed views, leaning one way on say social issues and the opposite way on the role of government. You could try to aggregate people into groups, but it would take many dozens, maybe hundreds, of groups to have groups containing people of similar views on most issues. There are only two political parties that are big enough to win an election, so most people pick the one that's the lesser of evils. A minority align closely enough with one party to really get behind its platform. (cont'd)
    – fixer1234
    Jul 31, 2018 at 0:04
  • The two parties are political machines that tailor their platforms, not so much based on an unchanging core set of beliefs, but on compromises to win an election given current issues; include enough to attract blocks of voters and exclude what might offend any significant block of voters. So your premise about a "Republican" (or Democrat for that matter) community is artificial and doesn't reflect the political reality.
    – fixer1234
    Jul 31, 2018 at 0:04

8 Answers 8


The phrase "Republican community" refers only to party membership, not any particular viewpoint. Indeed, the Democratic and Republican platforms have changed drastically over the years, and are now in many ways polar opposites of what they were originally.

The phrase "conservative community" would better describe the group of people who hold the political views that are commonly associated with the modern Republican party (nearly all Republicans are conservative, though not all conservatives are members of the Republican party). There are other words besides conservative that are often used to refer to roughly the same group of people (e.g. right-wing, reactionary), but some of them have negative connotations. Conservative is the word that members of this group generally use to refer to themselves.

  • Do you have any support for the idea that nearly all Republicans are conservatives (and which flavor of conservative are they)? I suppose nearly all Democrats are liberals too? I know it seems that way in the media but I don't think it's actually true based on the Republicans and Democrats I know.
    – ColleenV
    Jul 30, 2018 at 22:51
  • @ColleenV I'm not convinced that I need to provide support for the notion that modern Republicans are conservative. In fact, I think that burden should fall on anyone claiming the opposite. But first we'd have to agree on a definition of "almost all". To be honest, though, if I was the OP, I think I'd prefer an explanation that doesn't get sidetracked by such nuances. As long as it helps them understand how to use these terms coherently in a conversation, it served its purpose. Jul 30, 2018 at 23:27
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    @ColleenV I just want the OP to understand that Republican is the name of a political party, not an ideology, and that conservatism is the ideology that the modern Republican party is typically associated with, which makes it a more appropriate term for grouping people based on ideology. If the OP has somehow come to associate the word Republican with some other ideology, or some subset of an ideology, then maybe my answer won't be very helpful to them. Jul 31, 2018 at 4:57
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    @Shayan Opposition to gun control is one example of a political view that is commonly associated with American conservatism. Other frequently cited examples are opposition to abortion rights, support for lower taxes, opposition to government regulation, support for the death penalty, and opposition to gay marriage. Of course, not all conservatives hold all of these views, and some non-conservatives may hold one or two of them, but you probably realized that. Jul 31, 2018 at 14:49
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    @Shayan if you want to refer specifically to the group of people who oppose gun control, there are a few commonly used labels-- "gun rights advocates", and "2nd Amendment supporters" are the two that I hear most frequently. The advantage of these labels is that they don't exclude non-conservative and non-Republican people who hold this view (they do exist). Jul 31, 2018 at 15:33

I think the expression the Republican electorate comes close to the idea you are suggesting.

From : The Social Fabric: American life from the Civil War to the present

With little physical harm, the Klan's nocturnal activities effectively neutralized a significant portion of the Republican electorate.

From Daily Labor Report, Bureau of National Affairs:

According to Goeas, a majority of the Republican electorate supports " comprehensive reform" that includes providing citizenship opportunities for undocumented workers.

From Social Movements and American Political Institutions Anne N. Costain, ‎Andrew S. McFarland - 1998 - ‎

Thus, the Christian Right is strong where the Republican electorate was traditionally small. In contrast, movement influence is positively linked to recent Republican presidential voting: in 1996, for instance, Christian Right power was correlated negatively with votes for Clinton and Perot (r = — .28 and — .20, respectively) but ...

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    What about Republican children, criminals, etc? They would not be a included in this term despite their republican leanings because they can’t vote.
    – Laurel
    Jul 30, 2018 at 12:37
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    @Laurel - not sure the OP would include those in the suggested “community”. The electorate is probably the most inclusive and effective definition for those who can express their political ideas in that respect.
    – user29952
    Jul 30, 2018 at 12:47
  • My emphasize is not on any election so electorate may be misguiding in my context. However, it is a good word to learn.
    – Shayan
    Jul 30, 2018 at 14:51
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    @Laurel - I'd say yes, and that's reasonable. As an American, when one of my kids first tried talking polictics with me and asked "What are we?" My answer started: "You are nothing, because you can't vote. Your mom and I are ..."
    – T.E.D.
    Jul 30, 2018 at 20:01

Seems reasonable to me:

Community: a group of people having a particular characteristic in common.

In context I'd have no difficulty understanding what you are saying.

I've seen it used in a book title "Young Americans: Land Labour and the Republican Community". It has a slightly different meaning, relating to the community of various groups whose ideas influenced the development of the Republican Party in the period 1860-1900.

The National Reform Association was part of the 19th century Republican Community.

  • Community primarily carries connotations of a certain group within larger society, and that makes it very peculiar to use in relation to either of the major political parties in the U.S. except if talking about extremely lopsided jurisdictions (e.g. the Republican community of San Francisco, sitting together at a booth in a diner. With a spare seat). It is vanishingly rare in COCA or other broad corpora of American English. I was going to post an answer to this effect but Greg Bacon has covered most of my points.
    – choster
    Jul 31, 2018 at 16:29

The best phrase depends on context and your intended tone. “Republican community” is not a phrase in common American usage.

In conversational English, “Republicans” or “Republican voters” refers neutrally to both party members and people who tend to support Republican candidates or have viewpoints that track generally Republican. This seems to be closest to what you want based on your question and comments. (“Democrats” has the corresponding meaning.)

When U.S. voters register, states with closed primary elections require each voter to indicate party preference. This preference is easily changed, and no formal affiliation with the party is required. Opinion polls or surveys often describe their results as representing “registered Republican voters.”

Confusingly, “the Republican party” can refer to either supporters broadly or formal affiliation. Common phrases that emphasize party membership as opposed to broad support are “card-carrying Republican” and “dues-paying Republican.” To emphasize partisanship, that is loyalty to the party and its leadership, use “dyed-in-the-wool Republican” or “straight-ticket Republican voter.” Less colorfully, “partisan Republican” has the same meaning. Again, one need not be a member to be a partisan.

Grouping people by viewpoint on issues — Americans sometimes call these litmus-test issues, that is one’s stance on abortion, taxation, social services, and foreign policy tends to be a decent indicator of party sympathy — American politicians are said to “rally the base” or “motivate the base” when they emphasize certain typically emotional issues in seeking to drive up voter turnout. “Republican base” does indicate general alignment on viewpoint but also suggests partisanship. Americans talk about the base mostly around election time.

American political parties are large coalitions. Various “wings” or factions within the Republican party include social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, nationalists, pro-business, constitutionalists, libertarians, national greatness conservatives, foreign policy conservatives, America First, neoconservatives, the Religious Right, and the alt-right. Some Republicans are single-issue voters, that is, some always vote against pro-abortion candidates or others always vote against candidates who support new gun-control measures, for example.

Inflammatory language used to denigrate Republicans includes words and phrases such as “reactionary,” “heartless,” “right-wing,” “right wingers,” “wingnuts,” “moonbats,” “anti-choice,” “patriarchal,” “paternalists,” “fascists,” “xenophobes,” “promoters of war on women,” “theocrats,” “legislating morality,” and “sellouts to corporations.”

“The Republican electorate,” as suggested in another answer, sounds highly and perhaps excessively formal. The phrase is not in common usage.

Note the subtle distinction between Republican and republican. The capitalized proper noun refers to the political party and the latter to the republican form of government.


A term similar to what you describe would be the Republican base.

The party base (for any party), is the collection of people who associate much more strongly with the values of that party than with the values of the other party. That is, they can be enthusiastic about their party's values, or lukewarm towards the party's values but vehemently against the values of the other party. They tend to vote along party lines.

People who volunteer or otherwise get involved in supporting a party effort come almost entirely from the base. But regardless of how active they are, they reliably vote in favor of the party and the party's issues (there's a big difference between agreeing with all of the party's values and voting for the party). The party designs campaigns around that. The base is a group that the party doesn't need to win over.

So the viewpoints of the people in the base may or may not be strongly consistent with the party platform. But the "base" covers a broader range of viewpoints than a term like "conservatives", and describes the collection of people who feel strongly about voting for the party.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Base_(politics)

  • The question asks for a term for all Americans with Republican viewpoints. This is a very far cry from the base, who are the most loyal and hardcore of the voters in any party, and for either of the two major parties, a minority of all voters in a major election (it is a different story with most third parties or low-interest races, of course). The base of neither party can win a presidential election on its own, or statewide races in the larger states; they need to ally with unaligned people in the center and with disaffected members of the other party.
    – choster
    Jul 31, 2018 at 16:24
  • @choster, I agree. However, there's really no such thing as "all Americans with Republican viewpoints". Neither party has a viewpoint that is solidly based on unchanging core principles. Each party has a platform that is cobbled together to attract the people needed to win an election. Neither party really represents the viewpoints of the people who vote for it; you couldn't even define a common viewpoint that applies to them. The base is a term that at least describes something analogous to being representative of all people whose viewpoints align them with the party.
    – fixer1234
    Jul 31, 2018 at 16:49

I'd suggest Republican-aligned or Republican-favoring or Republican-leaning persons. "Republican leaners" could be a short version.

"Community" suggests people in proximity to or in contact with one another, and it's often the case that Republican favoring people are operating alone, even alone in their immediate families.

Conservative is not bad, noting that there are fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, Constitutional conservatives and blends of each of these. But these don't seem to make up a large portion of Republican leadership or legislators; there are many instances of the current Republican Senate leader stating that he will "crush" conservatives in upcoming elections.

Conservative is also used as a perjorative by those who are not (both Republicans and Democrats), much as "progressive" is used by those on the right. And yet each term is a mantle proudly worn by those that it applies to.

  • It's worth noting that, in common usage, your first three terms are generally used to refer to people who are not members of the Republican party, but who nevertheless have a favorable opinion of it and are likely to vote for its candidates. Those terms would not be understood to include the most dedicated and reliable Republican activists (i.e. the "core" or "base" of the party). Jul 31, 2018 at 16:38

I don't think it's wrong at all, but for me it implies a unity which might not exist these days. I prefer the previous commenter's suggestion 'conservatives', but if you want Republican in your phrase, what about Republican sympathizers? Edit* Or maybe simply 'Republican supporters'.

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    No, "sympathizers" would be non-Republicans who leaned to the Republican side on some issue. Republicans don't need to sympathize because they already are.
    – fixer1234
    Jul 30, 2018 at 23:36
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    I'll have to take your word for it, not being from the US. And I can definitely see that being one use of it, even if there are others.
    – S Conroy
    Jul 30, 2018 at 23:54

Can I use "The Republican community" to refer to the community of all American people with Republican viewpoints?

I would not. There are too many people who are still registered Democrat but have voted Republican for decades.

If not, what else can I use?

I'd say:

  1. Conservative, or
  2. Right-wing.
  • So why do they vote Republican? Why should your suggestions solve this problem?
    – Shayan
    Jul 30, 2018 at 18:19
  • What problem do you see? (As an American, I don't see a problem in Democrats voting for Republicans or Republicans voting for Democrats.)
    – RonJohn
    Jul 30, 2018 at 18:22
  • @RonJohn The trouble is, the definitions of conservative or right-wing shift over time, and though the parties have done a good amount of "sorting" over the last few decades, so that the center-left is aligned to D and the center-right to R, if anything party membership has become more strongly a point of identity, not philosophy. Besides, many doctrinaire conservatives were opposed to Bush, not to mention the current administration, just as more than a few "progressives" despise Clinton or Obama. After all, there is more than one wrong direction the country can be taken in.
    – choster
    Jul 30, 2018 at 19:43
  • @choster that's all true, but "The Republican community" is just wrong for people who vote Republican. Maciej Stachowski is right in his(?) comment on the question: "Republican community" (with a big R) implies a community of people affiliated with the Republican party (volunteers, donors, representatives, etc.).
    – RonJohn
    Jul 30, 2018 at 19:49
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    One reason that registered Democrats might generally vote along Republican lines, would be that they live in areas that are predominantly Democratic and have closed primaries. In such areas, being a registered Democrat allows them to vote in the Democratic primary, which will generally have a much larger pool of candidates for local offices. This applies in reverse to predominantly Republican areas. Jul 30, 2018 at 19:51

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