Tags: Gallup | conservatives | liberals | moderates

Gallup: More Identify as Conservative, But Liberals Gaining

By    |   Friday, 09 Jan 2015 11:51 AM

Conservatives are the largest ideological group in the United States but the number of people who call themselves liberal has reached a record high, a new poll has found.

According to findings from Gallup polls throughout 2014 of the self-identified ideology of a random sample of 16,479 adults, 38 percent describe themselves as conservative while 24 percent describe themselves as liberal, the smallest gap since the organization began recording it in 1992.

While the percentage of liberals increased by one percent for the third year in a row, the percentage of conservatives was unchanged from 2013 to 2014.

Thirty-four percent of adults describe themselves as moderate, Gallup found.

In 1992, moderates composed the largest group of Americans at 43 percent, while 36 percent described themselves as conservative and just 17 percent said they were liberal.

The trend since the 2000s suggests an increase in political polarization. Specifically, since 2000, the rise of liberalism has come from those who identify as Democrats while the percentage of Republicans who consider themselves conservative is slightly higher today than it was a decade ago.

Over time, the number of moderates has been shrinking as a proportion of both parties, though they still represent the largest segment of independents.

"Over the past 22 years, Americans' ideological bent, or at least their willingness to associate with certain labels, has changed in subtle ways. Although the 'liberal' moniker remains the least favorite, it has enjoyed the most growth, while 'conservative' is up slightly and 'moderate' has waned," Gallup said in a statement.

The organization said the changes reflect ideological shifts within parties as opposed to national trends in which party identification has plummeted.

"Even though 2014 was a strong election year for the Republican Party, Gallup found no increase in conservatism in 2014 compared with 2013. All of this happened at the same time that political independence was peaking, which is to say that ideological polarization and the strength of the two major parties don't necessarily go hand in hand," Gallup concluded.

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Conservatives are the largest ideological group in the United States but the number of people who call themselves liberal has reached a record high, a new poll has found.
Gallup, conservatives, liberals, moderates
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2015-51-09
Friday, 09 Jan 2015 11:51 AM
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