Liberal used to be a dirty word for Democrats, but a majority of Democrats describe their political views as liberal, a sign "the electorate has shifted leftward," NBC News reported Sunday.
"It's quite a change from where things stood from when Bill Clinton was president," anchor Chuck Todd told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.
Todd cited the latest Gallup Poll, which revealed 51 percent of Democrats identify as "liberal," vs. 13 percent "conservative" and 34 percent "moderate." In 1994, just 25 percent of Democrats identified as liberal, 25 percent as conservative and 48 percent as moderate, according to Gallup.
"And it's not just Democrats more comfortable calling themselves liberal," Todd said. "The country overall is more comfortable calling themselves liberal."
While just 17 percent of Americans in 1992 identified as liberal, that figure has swelled to 26 percent, according to the report. Americans identifying as conservative have roughly remained steady at 35 percent in 2018 (vs. 36 percent in 1992), while moderate Americans haven fallen from 43 percent to 35 percent.
"Hello, polarization," Todd said. "Now, the shift in language we use is actually mirroring the shifting attitudes in our politics. Consider issues that used to be criticized as quote 'too liberal' in the mid-90s:"
- 25 percent in favor of marijuana legalization in '95-'96, compared to 66 percent in 2018.
- 27 percent in favor of gay marriage in '95-'96, compared to 67 percent in 2018.
Todd concluded: "Here's further evidence the electorate has shifted leftward."
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