Democracy Corps, a opinion poll nonprofit created by Democrats James Carville and Stanley Greenberg, is out with a new report today, Inside the GOP: Report on focus groups with Evangelical, Tea Party, and moderate Republicans.
The report begins:
If you want to understand the government shutdown and crisis in Washington, you need to get inside the base of the Republican Party. That is what we are doing in the Republican Party Project and these focus groups with Evangelicals, Tea Party, and moderate Republicans. All the passion, nuances and divisions found expression when we conducted this work in the summer.
It finds participants "think Obama has imposed his agenda, while Republicans in DC let him get away with it."
A word-cloud of focus group descriptions of the president is nearby.
So, how do these findings relate to the shutdown and fight over Obamacare?
This goes to the heart of Republican base thinking about the essential political battle. They think they face a victorious Democratic Party that is intent on expanding government to increase dependency and therefore electoral support. It starts with food stamps and unemployment benefits; expands further if you legalize the illegals; but insuring the uninsured dramatically grows those dependent on government. They believe this is an electoral strategy—not just a political ideology or economic philosophy. If Obamacare happens, the Republican Party may be lost, in their view.