The Republican Party
The Republican Party, established in 1854 by anti-slavery activists led by Abraham Lincoln, is the more conservative, right-wing party in the US. It is often referred to as the GOP, or "Grand Old Party". A central principle of the party is that society is best served by small government and by more private enterprise. Republicans also place a significant emphasis on tradition, family values, and personal responsibility. Party platforms include less regulation on guns, opposition to abortion and support for a free market economy. Traditionally the Republicans have been the party of business and the military, and more recently the party has attracted Christian evangelicals and people living in sprawling suburbs (eg. ‘soccer moms'). The Republicans' voter base is in the South, Southwest and West and less populated parts of the states that are normally considered Democratic (such as California and New York).
Fast facts: The Republicans in the 2008 elections
- There were 55 million registered Republicans in the US in 2004
- Republicans received 73% of the evangelical vote
- 53% of citizens over 65 years of age voted for Presidential candidate John McCain
The Republican Party is symbolised by an elephant. Thomas Nast invented the symbol of the Republican elephant in a cartoon in Harper's Weekly in 1874. He depicted a donkey clothed in lion's skin frightening animals at the zoo. The elephant was labelled ‘The Republican Party' and is now their official symbol.
For more information visit the Republican Party's official site.