It was reported that the biggest difference between supporters of the two Parties was "The environment," where 71% of Democrats said it's important to them, versus only 32% of Republicans who did. The second-biggest difference was "The distribution of income and wealth": 72% of Democrats, versus only 38% of Republicans. Third came "Poverty and homelessness": 82% of Democrats, versus 53% of Republicans. Fourth came "Education": 91% of Democrats, versus 70% of Republicans - a 21% difference.
The four issues on which the conservative/Republicans scored the largest amount higher (more concerned) than Democrats: First, "The military and national defense": 76% of Republicans, versus 61% of Democrats. Second, "Taxes": 69% of Republicans, versus 56% of Democrats. Third, "Terrorism": 77% of Republicans, versus 68% of Democrats. Fourth, "Government surveillance of U.S. citizens": 45% of Republicans, versus 37% of Democrats.
Democrats are also more likely than Republicans to prioritize education, gun policy, race relations, policies toward gays and lesbians, energy policy, and Social Security and Medicare.
Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say the president and Congress should prioritize the military and national defense (15 points), and taxes (13 points). Republicans also assign a higher priority to terrorism, government surveillance, and immigration.
Here is a chart of Gallup's findings
|Click for larger image|
One can therefore reasonably infer from this survey that the main difference between Democrats and Republicans is the difference between charity and compassion versus fear based self absorbed self-interest.
This would explain why when candidates make their appeals to members of their own Party, Democratic candidates will propose policies that improving things for everyone but especially for the most vulnerable whereas Republican candidates will put forth proposals that improve things for their individual constituents. This also further clarifies why when it comes to the general election the Democratic nominee will have been chosen on the basis of his concern for everyone, while the Republican nominee will have been chosen on the basis of his concern for only conservatives and Republicans.