Gallup: 40% of Americans are Conservatives

A recent Gallup polls shows an uptick among conservatives to the higest rate in five years...but also has the highest percentage of people calling themselves "liberal" than ever before.

The poll might also provide a hint as to why the Democratic majority vatives-Single-Largest-Ideological-Group .aspx

The poll shows 40% of Americans consider themselves Conservative, the highest in five years, while 35% call themselves Moderate...only 21% call themselves Liberal, but this is the highest margin ever recorded in Gallup.

More interesting is the party ID, which may explain why there is so much frustration among progressive bloggers with the Democratic Party;

Among Republicans, 73% consider themselves conservative, while only 24% consider themselves moderate and 3% liberal

Among Independents, those numbers are 34%-45%-30%.

Among Democrats, 22% consider themselves Conservative, while 40% say they are moderate and 38% say they are liberal.

This may explain why we can't get progressive legislation through with the backing of all Democrats...the Democratic Party can't be as cohesive as the Republicans because the Democratic electorate isn't.

This could be a drawback to the big tent...the Democratic Party as a whole isn't progressive, only a percentage of it, so we're left not being in control of the party, but being part of a coalition where moderate and conservatives have more influence than we'd like.

Think about it...if our Democratic majority is broken down to 22% conservative, 40% moderate, 38% liberal, liberals don't have a majority...they barely have a minority. We need to start treating the Democratic Party for what it is...a coalition of different ideologies and not the progressive standard bearer. If we want a progressive majority, we need to get these numbers to 40%-50% liberal

Food for thought.

Tags: 111th Congress, Conservatives, Democrats, gallup, liberal, Senate (all tags)



Re: Gallup: 40% of Americans are Conservatives

Look carefully at what Gallup says their question reads, and how it divides people into three categories.

Very conservative, conservative


moderate, liberal


very liberal

If Gallup actually asks the question they say they ask, it is no wonder they say liberals are outnumbered.

by phillies 2009-06-16 04:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Gallup: 40% of Americans are Conservatives

Whoa, really?

And then reports the "very liberal" as liberal?

by Jess81 2009-06-16 07:08PM | 0 recs
Third Party Anyone?

I know its unrealistic but Bill Maher made the point recently that we don't have a left wing anymore. We have a extreme right wing republican party, a moderate - right/left democratic party. The democratic party is not the liberal party we want it to be and I seriously feel we are in desperate need of a "third" left wing party. Though I digress it will never occur because the one thing the right wing knows how to do is demonize the word "liberal" and make common sense measures "universal health care" look like the devil.

by political22 2009-06-16 09:27PM | 0 recs
Our political system doesn't allow it

Third parties are great, if you want Republicans to control everything. All you need is a plurality to win.

Clinton and Bush both won office because their opponents saw votes sucked away by third parties.

Unlike parliamentary systems, we don't have coalition government.

Let's say for instance, the vote breaks down 45% Republican, 40% Democratic, 15% Independent Liberal guy. Well in our system Republican wins. (Remember that 2000 was Gore 48%-Bush 48%- Nader and others 4%)

In other systems, Independent Liberal guy is out of the race and a runoff occurs between Republican and Democratand progressive who voted for ILG would have to decide whether or on to vote Democrat or stay home and let the Republican win. If this happened here in 2000, it's very likely Gore would have defeated Bush in a runoff...but because we don't have runoffs, Bush won with a plurality.

If it's 45% Republican, 35% Indepedent Liberal guy, 30% Democrat, then runoff is between Republican and Independent Liberal guy.
Democrats would have to decide whether or not to vote for ILG or vote Republican or stay home.

Similarly, in other parilamentary systems, if Republican wins 44% of the seats in Congress, Democrats 40% and Independent Liberal Party wins 16%....ILP and Democrats would have to form a coalition to govern together. That gives ILP some control, but not total control and they would still have to cater to the moderate Democrats who could, at any moment, go to the Republicans, issue a vote of no confidence and the whole government comes crashing down and new elections are called.

No matter what we do, we're still going to have to cowtow to moderates and sometimes Republicans to govern effectively. The only way to fix the problem is to get rid of them all together and the only way to do that is to get rid of their votes so that they're completely behind progressives and not "moderates" and "conservatives"

Get progressives elected in Republican and Moderate Democratic far, we haven't been doing that well. For the most part we've only been able to beat Republicans with Moderate Democrats and we haven't been able to succesfully primary moderate Democrats except in liberal seats and Democrats who we think are progressive become moderate as soon as they are elected (Jon Tester, Jim Webb, Larry Kissell).

If people like Scott Kleeb, Andrew Rice, Jim Martin, Rick Noreiga, Darcy Burner, Mark Pera, Annette Taddeo, Tom Allen, etc would have won their elections, we would've been well on our way.

by DTOzone 2009-06-16 10:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Gallup: 40% of Americans are Conservatives

This is a branding issue.  All sorts of people will say they're conservative and not really know what that means or how it would affect their lives.  

by the mollusk 2009-06-17 06:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Gallup: 40% of Americans are Conservatives

Ask how many of those self-identified conservatives if they want to do away with Liberal programs like social security and medicaid and see how conservative they really are. Decades and billions in very effective marketing has a larger number of people identifying with the brand then with the actual policies it represents.

by hankg 2009-06-17 07:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Gallup: 40% of Americans are Conservatives

The Democratic party has just not done enough education to allow the average person to understand what he/she is supporting when they attach themselves to labels such as conservative, moderate, or liberal. I am surprised that the term progressive was not used in the survey, as it seems to denote a cleaned up liberal.

The Republicans did their homework and for decades denigrated the liberal label. But liberals never retaliated or at least clarified their positions. When you have average or poor people actually voting for positions that benefit the wealthy, something is wrong.

by MainStreet 2009-06-17 05:03PM | 0 recs


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