Huge Data Dump From Pew
by Chris Bowers, Thu Mar 22, 2007 at 08:29:42 PM EDT
Over the past five years, the political landscape of the nation has shifted from one of partisan parity to a sizable Democratic advantage. But the change reflects Republican losses more than Democratic gains. Compared with 2002, Democratic Party identification is up just two points (from 31% to 33%) and has not grown at all since 2004. Republican Party identification, meanwhile, has fallen precipitously, from 29% as recently as 2005 to just 25% in the first quarter of 2007.There are no generalized ideological self-identification questions in the poll (at least that I can find), but there are a number of perhaps more useful questions on ideological attitudes give provide us with a sense of the ideological flow in the country. As a means of cutting through the contradictory answers many people give when questions are asked in isolation, I thought question 16, found on page 92 of the PDF, was particularly interesting:
The shift that favors the Democratic Party is among independents. The share of Americans who describe themselves as independents who "lean" toward the Democratic Party has gradually risen from 12% in 2002 to 17% in the first quarter of 2007. Meanwhile, the share leaning toward the GOP has dropped, but only slightly (from 13% to 11%). But the survey suggests that even these Democratic gains reflect independents' dissatisfaction with the Republican Party more than any greater liking for the Democrats.
If you had to choose, would you rather have a smaller government providing fewer services, or a bigger government providing more services? ( Smaller government, fewer services: 45%Back in early 1996, the numbers were 61-30 in favor of "smaller government, fewer services." That is quite a shift in a short period of time, although numbers nearly identical to these had already appeared in Pew polling as early as 1999. Clearly, any notion of a "small government majority" among the electorate were temporary, at best.
Larger government, more services: 43%
Across the board, there appears to be a slight ideological shift that favors progressives, though few changes, if any, are as drastic as those found on the smaller / larger government question. The whole poll is worth a read, and should amuse any poll junkies out there for hours on end.