Is there a difference between being a republican politician and a republican constituent?
It seems the latter is less proud to call himself a republican, according to this article:
WhatOthersSay: The GOP, a casualty of war
By ROSA BROOKS | Special to the Los Angeles Times
According to a March 20 Pew Research Center study, Republican Party identification is at its lowest point in the center's 16 years of polling: Only 27 percent of registered voters will now fess up to being Republicans, a 6-percentage-point drop since 2004. And the decline is particularly notable in key swing states.
It's not just the fence-sitters who are shifting; core GOP constituencies are fleeing, too. In a warning sign of what the future may hold for the GOP, Republican Party identification among younger white evangelicals 55 percent in 2001 had plummeted to 40 percent by September 2007.
The same trend has been true among military personnel, for decades a solidly Republican constituency. In 2004, 60 percent of active-duty military personnel who responded to a survey sent to Military Times subscribers identified themselves as Republicans. By 2007, that had dropped below 50 percent. (Military personnel tend to take screw-ups in Iraq pretty personally.)