Friday, January 10, 2014

Number of Americans who identify themselves as liberal reaches new high according to Gallup.

Courtesy of Gallup:

Americans continue to be more likely to identify as conservatives (38%) than as liberals (23%). But the conservative advantage is down to 15 percentage points as liberal identification edged up to its highest level since Gallup began regularly measuring ideology in the current format in 1992. 

The figures are based on combined data from 13 separate Gallup polls, including interviews with more than 18,000 Americans, conducted in 2013. 

When Gallup began asking about ideological identification in all its polls in 1992, an average 17% of Americans said they were liberal. That dipped to 16% in 1995 and 1996, but has gradually increased, exceeding 20% each year since 2005. 

The rise in liberal identification has been accompanied by a decline in moderate identification. At 34% in 2013, it is the lowest Gallup has measured, and down nine points since 1992. Moderates had been the largest ideological group throughout the 1990s, and competed with conservatives for the top spot during the 2000s. Since 2009, conservatives have consistently been the largest U.S. ideological group. 

The shift toward greater liberal self-identification has been led by Democrats. Currently, 43% of Democrats say they are liberal, a nearly 50% increase from 29% in 2000. Over the same period, the percentage of Democrats identifying as moderate is down to 36% from 44%, and conservative identification is down to 19% from 25%. Republicans have become more likely to describe their political views as conservative over the past 13 years, from 62% in 2000 to 70% in 2013. 

The percentage of Republicans saying their political views are moderate has dropped by an equivalent amount, from 31% to 23%. To some degree that may be a function of declining Republican Party identification in the U.S., now at a 25-year low of 25%. The smaller group of present Republican identifiers is likely more ideologically homogeneous than the larger group of Republican identifiers from a decade ago.

I have to admit that I am still puzzled by the size of the number of Americans who call themselves conservatives, but I really believe that these numbers are shifting faster than may be evident right now, and that if Gallup were to alter their methods of poll taking they would find a larger liberal segment of the population that simply does not respond to polls using the conventional methods.

If Gallup sent out a mass text to cellphone users for instance, with a simple yes or no option, I bet this number would change dramatically.

However it is the trend which is the story here, and the trend is definitely favoring those of us on the liberal side of the ideological divide.


  1. Leland2:47 PM

    Here's a question related to the subject I wish someone would ask:

    "As a conservative, how do you compare yourself to those conservatives currently in office?"

    I really would like to know whether or not those in the population who CLAIM to be conservatives actually believe those in control really are conservatives and whether or not they agree with the policies being pursued.

  2. Anonymous3:33 PM

    I think the definitions of liberal, conservative, and moderate have changed over time. I tell my friends I'm so liberal that I'm conservative because I think that freedom to marry, access to contraception, and helping the downtrodden are important. The views of Limbaugh, Coulter, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, etc. are radical (not conservative).

  3. John F. Kennedy, September 14, 1960:

    "What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label "Liberal?" If by "Liberal" they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is unconcerned with the taxpayer's dollar, then the record of this party and its members demonstrate that we are not that kind of "Liberal." But if by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties -- someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal."

  4. The . Rich . Don’t . Care . About . You. I think that sentiment has spread. I’ve done my part.

    But yeah, there will always be Republicans who think they’ll eventually become rich, famous, and woman magnets. I had to stop seeing a friend of the family when his poor choices landed him in senior facility after senior facility, and I finally realized he saw me as more than a friend. I haven’t been back.

  5. Anonymous4:14 PM

    Until a yr ago my fox news watching WW II vet, step-dad had a listed land line and was registered as a republican. He is the kind of folks these pollsters talk to. My life experience, even working in a VA hospital don't support these conservative percentages

  6. I see there are liberal, moderate and conservative Democrats. There are also moderate and conservative Republicans.

    Is there no such thing as a liberal Republican?

    Or is a liberal Republican really a conservative Democrat?

  7. Anonymous5:05 PM

    There were the Liberal Republicans in the late 1800's, formed to oppose the re-election of Ulysses Grant and his 'radical' republicans.

    Others include the Rockefeller Republicans. They were considered liberals because they shared Nelson Rockefeller's liberal views and believed in environmentalism, health care and higher education.

    John McCain calls himself a liberal Republican....but obviously, he doesn't understand what he's talking about. His brain is shot from his Adderol addiction.

  8. Liberals today are right where Eisenhower Republicans were back in the 1950s. Being Liberal is relative. However, Conservatives today are so off the charts that they have set a new benchmark.


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