They labeled the two largest groups on the right “core conservatives” and “country first conservatives.”
“Core conservatives” are the most traditional group of Republicans, and at 43 percent of politically engaged Republicans, they have the most outsize influence on the GOP coalition. The group is male-dominated and tends to be more financially comfortable, with nearly half of them belonging to households making $75,000 or more. About 1 in 3 are college educated.
“Country first conservatives” are a much smaller segment of the base and tend to be older and less educated — only 16 percent have a college degree — than other GOP-leaning groups. Fewer than 30 percent of them come from households making at least $75,000 a year. These conservatives are unhappy with the direction of the country.
A third Republican group Pew defined are “market skeptic Republicans.” It diverges from the GOP’s traditional support for business and lower taxes with only about a third saying banks and other financial institutions have a positive effect on the country.
“New era enterprisers,” a fourth group, are younger and somewhat less overwhelmingly white than the other groups and tend to be pro-business and generally believe immigrants strengthen, rather than burden, the country.
The thing these conservatives share the most common ground on is their support for Trump and their belief that the overwhelming majority of both groups say that black Americans who can’t get ahead in life are responsible for their own condition
Majorities within the group also agree that the government can't afford to do more to help Americans in need.
But it is on areas of international affairs where the two largest groups differ most. The majority of core conservatives — 68 percent — believe that U.S. involvement in the global economy is good for new markets and growth. Far fewer country first conservatives feel that way. Less than 4 in 10 — 39 percent — agree.
The country first conservatives also have a much more negative view of immigration. Nearly 8 in 10 — 76 percent — believe that immigrants are a burden to the country because they take jobs and housing. It's these conservatives that express the highest “cultural anxiety” among any group when it comes to immigration, arguing that “if America is too open to people from all over the world, we risk losing our identity as a nation.” Only 43 percent of core conservatives feel that way.
Core conservatives — the more affluent group — are much more likely to think that the U.S. economic system is “generally fair” to most Americans. Of the core groups, 3 in 4 see fairness in the current system. But less than half — 48 percent — of country first conservatives believes in the fairness of America's economic system.
One of the largest gaps between the conservatives comes to views on homosexuality. Among country first conservatives, 7 in 10 believe that homosexuality should be discouraged by society, while fewer than 4 in 10 — 37 percent — of core conservatives share that view.
All of this is worth paying attention to as Bannon has threatened to get behind candidates who reinforce his anti-establishment vision of the GOP. The country first conservatives could help him do that, starting with backing former Alabama chief justice Roy Moore in his U.S. Senate race.
But the Republican Party has put resources in the past few years in trying to connect with underrepresented groups including minorities and immigrants. And Trump campaigned to be more supportive the LGBT community that so many in his base don't seem to support.
Many of those groups feel less supported now that Trump is in the White House — but so do some groups within the GOP itself, hence so much of the infighting.
So often when those on the right point to dysfunction, they focus on Washington. But another way to understand the war in the GOP that will probably have a significant effect on what happens during the 2018 midterms — and the next presidential election — is to spend time looking into the dynamics between the voters outside the Beltway.