"Yellow Dog Republican" is redundant. The fact is, Republicans hardly ever cross party lines; rather, as a statistical matter, Republicans virtually always vote for Republicans.

Democrats, on the other hand, have a much lower degree of party loyalty, and frequently cross party lines. For example, Democrats will frequently vote for progressive Republican candidates in the northeast and the west; and, the so-called (conservative) Reagan Democrats will often cross party lines, John McCain being a case in point.

The reason is simple. The Democratic party is far more diverse than the Republican party and, to be blunt, more open minded. Republicans, however, are of three general types: (1) people worried about their money (most typically, the "county clubbers" and wannabe country clubbers); (2) social conservatives (most prominently religious reactionaries); and (3) those with an anti-government/libertarian bent. Virtually all Republicans -- excepting the odd racist and/or xenophobe -- fall into one of these three categories; and, these folks either vote Republican or do not vote at all.

Hence, it would be superfluous to use the phrase "yellow dog Republican" -- all Republicans are yellow dog Republicans, while only a small subset of Democrats will always vote for a Democrat.

Let's turn siwr's write-up around, shall we?

Perhaps the reason that some Democrats will cross party lines frequently is because of their own party's closed-mindedness. The point has been made here on E2 before, but it bears restating: some Democrats (particularly, as mentioned, Reagan Democrats, many of whom were Southern Democrats back in that day) may be open-minded, but their party itself is notoriously intolerant of dissent.

At the 2000 Republican National Convention, Gen. Colin Powell delivered a keynote that had all the hallmarks of a public spanking, particularly as related to affirmative action and the Republican party's opposition to it. However, he was received enthusiastically despite this disagreement with a key point of his party's platform. Conversely, in 1992 Pennsylvania governor Bob Casey was denied any opportunity to speak at the Democratic National Convention in New York specifically because of his opposition to abortion.

Perhaps the reason most Republicans have a high degree of loyalty is because of the diversity of opinions represented under the Republican banner. If individual Democrats don't agree with the party line, they can either change their minds or shut up. Individual Republicans are free to speak their mind, and will even get support from their party to do so.

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