The 4 Types of Republicans

Note: This is Part 2 of my Political Typology series.



My regional model for Republicans:

  • East = Moderate Establishment
  • West = Conservative Establishment
  • South = Conservative Populist
  • North = Moderate Populist




  • E = Moderate Establishment
    • Archetype: East
      • US Examples: VA, NC, SC
      • MI Examples: Oakland, Livingston
    • Frontrunners: Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Mike Pence
    • Outside Shot: Ivanka Trump
    • Also Rans: Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Larry Hogan, Rick Scott
  • W = Conservative Establishment
    • Archetype: West
      • US Examples: UT, NE, KS
      • MI Examples: Kent, Ottawa
    • Frontrunners: Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton
    • Outside Shot: Mitt Romney
    • Also Rans: Mike Pompeo, Mike Lee
  • S = Conservative Populist
    • Archetype: South
      • US Examples: AL, TN, AR
      • MI Examples: Macomb, St. Clair
    • Frontrunners: Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis
    • Outside Shot: Tucker Carlson, Vivek Ramaswamy, Donald Trump Jr.
    • Also Rans: Greg Abbott, Josh Hawley, Dan Crenshaw
  • N = Moderate Populist
    • Archetype: North
      • US Examples: OH, IN, IA
      • MI Examples: Genesee, Upper Peninsula
    • Frontrunners: Kristi Noem, Elise Stefanik
    • Outside Shot: Doug Burgum, John James
    • Also Rans: Mike DeWine, Ben Sasse


The political and media establishment chronically underrepresent the anti-establishment (populist) quadrants in both parties.

  • Donald Trump won in 2016 because he focused on the anti-establishment quadrants across both parties.
    • Trump first won over the Republican S → N lanes.
      • Then he crossed-over to the Democratic C (moderate anti-establishment) lane.
      • The promise and delivery of conservative judges won over the Republican W lane.
  • Joe Biden won in 2020 because he won back the Democratic C quadrant and reunified the 4 Types of Democrats.


  • Donald J. Trump enters 2024 as the frontrunner for the Republican nomination:
    • He's still the favorite in his top three lanes: S → N → W
      • Jr. could copy his dad's lane, but he would be worse at it in every quadrant.
      • Ivanka's lane would be the opposite: E → W → N → S.
        • Ivanka Trump could powerfully unify all four Republican quadrants through a combination of her and her father's lanes.
  • The other Republican frontrunners are all currently limited to 1-2 lanes.
    • Establishment Lanes:
      • Pence: E → W
      • Cruz: W → S?
      • Haley: E → W?
      • Scott: E → W?
    • Populist Lanes:
      • DeSantis: S → W
      • Carlson: S → N
      • Noem: N → W
      • Hawley: N → S

Tweet at me @neilthanedar if you want to riff and refine on these ideas!

Published by Neil Thanedar

Neil Thanedar is an entrepreneur, investor, scientist, altruist, and author. He is the founder & GP of Utopic, a pre-seed biotech VC fund investing in the future of science. He is also the founder & chairman of Air to All, a 501(c)3 nonprofit medical device startup, and Labdoor, a consumer watchdog with $7M+ in funding and 20M+ users. He previously co-founded Avomeen Analytical Services, a product development and testing lab acquired for $30M+ in 2016. He has also served as Executive Director of The Detroit Partnership and Senior Advisor to his father Shri Thanedar in his campaigns for Governor, State Representative, and US Congress in Michigan.