You may want to sit down before you read what I’m about to tell you.

It appears that — maybe — Republicans don’t actually care much about deficits at all, at least not when a fellow Republican is president.

Here are the results from an Economist/YouGov poll conducted in April 2014. When respondents were asked whether the government should prioritize reducing the budget deficit or cutting taxes, a slight majority (54 percent) said reducing the deficit. The shares preferring deficit reduction were roughly equal for Democrats and Republicans, though the Republicans were more likely than Democrats to name tax cuts over “not sure.”


The Economist/YouGov, April 12-14, 2014.

The same poll question was asked again last week. Somewhat improbably, Democrats’ responses are…exactly the same. Republicans, however, are now more likely to say government should prioritize tax cuts over deficit reductions:


The Economist/YouGov, April 29 – May 2, 2017.

So much for the conservative party being fiscally conservative.