Gallup: Conservative Numbers Head Toward Record Year

Friday, 25 Jun 2010 04:09 PM

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Conservatives in the United States are on track to record their highest annual statistics in the Gallup poll’s 18-year history of measuring conservative/liberal ideologies.

That nugget emerges from the results of a USA Today/Gallup analysis of eight surveys taken between January and June, which noted that 42 percent of Americans describe themselves as either very conservative or conservative. That’s up from the 40 percent figure recorded for all of 2009 and trounces the 20 percent who call themselves liberal or very liberal.

The conservative wave is resulting in part from increasing conservatism among independents, the analysis noted.

The eight surveys included interviews with more than 8,000 U.S. adults, Gallup said in announcing the results today.

“The 42 percent identifying as conservative represents a continuation of the slight but statistically significant edge conservatives achieved over moderates in 2009,” the Gallup analysis said. “Should that figure hold for all of 2010, it would represent the highest annual percentage identifying as conservative in Gallup's history of measuring ideology with this wording, dating to 1992.”

The conservative trend reverses a decline that started after 2003, while liberalism has spiraled downward, according to Gallup.

“From 1993 to 2002, the ideological trend had been fairly stable, with roughly 40 percent identifying as moderate, 38 percent as conservative, and 19 percent as liberal,” Gallup said. “Before that, the presidential bid of independent candidate Ross Perot may have contributed to a heightened proportion of Americans [43 percent] calling themselves moderate in 1992.

USA Today/Gallup found no significant changes in 2010 compared with 2009 in how Republicans, Democrats, and independents describe their views.

Consistent with last year’s numbers, nearly 4 in 10 Democrats call themselves liberal, while a similar proportion of Democrats say they are moderate.

Over the long term, Democrats have grown increasingly liberal, Gallup said. Seven in 10 Republicans continue to call themselves conservative, similar to 2009, while most of the remaining Republicans identify themselves as moderate. However, the conservative percentage has increased by 10 points since 2002, according to Gallup.

Independents today are slightly more likely to say they are moderate than conservative, with fewer than 20 percent giving themselves a liberal label. Although this is similar to 2009, it represents an increase in conservatism among this group since 2008.

For additional information about the results, including charts — Click Here Now.

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