This observation from Pew circa November, 2015, comes via Billmon, my favorite ex-blogger who now mostly tweets.
Political efficacy, the sense that the government and its institutions are serving interests of the person in question is not just a psychological sentiment: it is often, I think, a reasonable reflection of the reality. The striking observations here are twofold: first, contra the usual conventional wisdom, it is the whites, especially white males, that feel most powerless and disenfranchised, and that moderate Republicans of modest education should happen to be those feeling particularly left out of the loop, as well as the moderates.
The term “moderate” is distracting: it is often just a meaningless term used to describe whoever is not a party’s mainstream. Thus, the “true moderates” are those who feel left out by both parties. Partisan moderates are those who feel that they are closer to one party or the other, but feel underserved by even that party. Given this slight redefinition, why Republicans should feel more alienated makes sense: they are left out of the White House and their representatives in control of Congress have done absolutely nothing to advance their interests. What is more, such interests that they have been advancing, even if of symbolic variety, have been largely limited to only those of the core partisans: to put it bluntly, the Republican Party has treated its own marginal supporters with utter disdain, not even worthy of symbolic representation.
In other words, the Republicans have systematically abused their control over the legislative agenda to screw over many of their own people in order to spite their political enemies. The people who have been the victim of such agenda abuse have risen up to sic the Four Horsemen, all wrapped up in a single person of Donald Trump, upon the Republican leaders. If hellfire and brimstone rains down on their convention, it will have been well deserved.