Didn't really read the whole thread, but to kind of answer the OP question, we have to take into account that back in the day, the republicans had a pretty solid platform and a great number of americans were in fact republicans, it wasn't till the Reagan era that a shift happened. The reagonomics that favored the rich and slighted the poor is what really started dividing americans as a whole. So much so that a majority of independents are swingers who were once republicans and who abandoned the party because of the shift they didn't agree with, however these same people were also very reluctant to side with democrats, so they stayed in the middle and swung votes. There r however some people who have equated politics with conservatism and moral system. They remain republicans because they have wrongly defined what it meant to be republican. It's no longer a political clutch to them its part of their value system, its a way of life, they can't separate politics from faith, so they blindly vote a certain way because that's how they were raised. Now that the party has gone up in flames, they still can't seem to wake up and walk away because like i said it's their way of life.