Huge Data Dump From Pew

Pew has released an enormous survey, which is summarized on their site here, and for which the complete results can be found in a 112 page PDF here. The poll goes into great detail on national attitudes concerning a variety of political topics, with long-term trendlines for every question. The partisan identification numbers are some of the more newsworthy bits about this poll:
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.

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.
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:
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%
Larger government, more services: 43%
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.

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.

Tags: Ideology, partisan identification, polls (all tags)

Comments

7 Comments

Re: Huge Data Dump From Pew
I thought so.  Not only because of the 'feel' but, many people are chosing to read online and programs like Olbermann are going up. Frustration of the people that the msm is still to their right.
People are more interested in the dem. primaries.  No excitement for the gop.
I think people are sick of them, their lies and their hate.
by vwcat 2007-03-22 08:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Huge Data Dump From Pew

You can have all the polls you want. As long as there are corporate criminals willing to do everything they can to fix elections polls dont matter. Call me sinical but, recently we have seen a large number of corporate criminals in action (Lay, Ebbers, et al)and very questionable elections.

by Steambomb 2007-03-22 09:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Huge Data Dump From Pew

I'll look at in depth early next week. One thing that caught my eye in a quick scan was the Louisiana numbers among Democrats. It was incredible, only 18% of Democrats describing themselves as liberal and 39% saying conservative. That's more like an overall sample in that state than numbers I would expect among Democrats. It's the lowest percentage of liberals among Democrats in any state, and by far the highest percentage of conservative Democrats.

Hard to tell if that's a poor sample, or revealing of our obstacles in that state post-Katrina.

by Gary Kilbride 2007-03-23 01:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Huge Data Dump From Pew

I have to smile a little bit, when people say that the independent vote is not important esp. when data is released that shows the only real gains in identification are being made only in indie voters. 2 percent might have been margin of error - if you discount that , dems haven't grown at all in identification but indies have flocked to the 'leaning dem' cat

by heyAnita 2007-03-23 03:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Huge Data Dump From Pew

I agree with Hey Anita.  That was a very interesting tibit about self identified dems going up a small percentage while self identified reps went down much more dramatically with the main increase in indies.  At this point, an opening has been created, but it is up to the dems to seal the deal through continuing to promote policies that are cost effective and progressive.

I love the part about big government and small government. What a false choice.  What people want is effective government that maximizes the tax dollar.  clinton showed that government can work and make a difference.  The fiasco's with FEMA, VA, and other agencies show that people need government - when it is set up to work for people.  

We all should work to remind people progessive policies can be cost effective and help people - and in turn - seal the deal and move indies to dems.  
 

by rogpol1 2007-03-23 06:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Huge Data Dump From Pew

Now, if we could just get the M$M to realize that the Republican era is over and get the Blog Birch Society to stop its nitpicking and whining (I'm taliking to the five previous commentators), we might actually get some rational discussion on the issues.

by spirowasright 2007-03-23 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Huge Data Dump From Pew

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by karacune 2007-05-09 02:33AM | 0 recs

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