The Battleground Poll and the Battle for America

There's good news for conservatives in the latest Battleground Poll. The political implications are profound...if the already-energized conservative base takes even more initiative.

In August 2008, I wrote an article on "The Biggest Missing Story in Politics." The article explains that conservatives are an overwhelming majority of America. One year later, I wrote an update on that theme, this time based on the Gallup Poll which showed that conservatives outnumber liberals in virtually every state in the union. I have been writing about the remarkable Battleground Poll results in many articles for many years.   

The Battleground Poll reveals the internals of its poll. It also asks respondents the same demographic questions in each poll: What is your education level? What is your age? What is your religious affiliation? What is your marital status? Question D3 asks respondents to describe their ideology. The choices are "very conservative," "somewhat conservative," "moderate," "somewhat liberal," "very liberal," and "unsure/refused." Those asked by the Battleground Poll -- if they dislike the liberal label -- can call themselves moderates, they can refuse to answer, and they can express an uncertainty about their ideology. Only those certain of their ideology and willing to label themselves are considered conservative in the poll.

The Battleground Poll is not a Republican polling organization.  It is, rather, one of the few bipartisan polling organizations.  Republican and Democrat pollsters agree on the language of the questions for respondents, so that the questions asked are not only fairly worded, but unusually fairly worded.  Republican and Democrat pollsters agree on the population sample, so that polls results are not skewed because too many Democrats, too many Republicans, or too many independents are included.  The Battleground Poll also has proven very accurate over many elections.

The responses to Question D3 have been remarkably consistent. Respondents have changed dramatically about what they thought of President Bush or of the state of the economy or the most important issues facing our nation. Respondent may swing quite a bit about which party they support or trust the most. But in one single area of this long list of polling data, the American people have not wavered at all from Battleground Poll to Battleground Poll: About sixty percent of the American people, in poll after poll, year after year, describe themselves as "conservative."

On December 16, 2009, Battleground released its latest poll. In this one, 63% of the American people described themselves as "very conservative" or "somewhat conservative." The rest of America -- not just liberals, but moderates and people who were unsure about their ideology or chose not to respond to that question, totaled only 37% of America. A measly one percent of Americans called themselves moderates; 25% of Americans called themselves "somewhat liberal"; and 8% of Americans called themselves "very liberal." 

This is no aberration. Consider in Battleground Poll results since June 2002 the percentage of Americans who have described themselves as conservative: June 2002 (59%), September 2003 (59%), April 2004 (60%), June 2004 (59%), September 2004 (60%), October 2005 (61%), March 2006 (59%), December 2007 (58%),  July 2007 (63%), May 2008 (62%), August 2008 (60%), September 2008 (59%), and October 2008 (56%).    

In the November 2008 Battleground Poll, for the first and only time, the straight question of "conservative" or "liberal" was not posed to respondents. Instead, the poll asked respondents two separate questions: fiscal ideology was asked in Question D6 and social ideology was asked in Question D7. The Battleground Poll clearly intended to refine Question D3. What were the results? Fiscal conservatives in Question D6 were 69% of respondents. Social conservatives were 53% of respondents and social liberals were 39%. While that sounds like social conservatism is a weak link, that is misleading: a whopping 34% of all Americans described themselves as "very conservative" on social issues, by far the largest very intense group in any Battleground Poll. 

What does this mean for American politics today?  It ought to boldly empower conservatives. The "right," which every Democrat leader reflexively attacks whenever political opposition to his plans grows strong, boasts the overwhelming majority of Americans. This  explains why the left's ballot initiatives in California last year failed, in some cases, in every single county of the state and why the gay marriage ballot measure failed in liberal Maine. This also explains why Obama runs away from "labels" (all leftists do, and have for many years). 

What it means in politics is that any true conservative against a true leftist should carry every state and win by a landslide. But it means more than that. Conservatives in the areas of culture, media, entertainment, and education are treated like unwanted stepchildren, or worse (despite the fact that conservatives on average are better-educated  than liberals). 

The worst victims of invidious bigotry in America today are conservatives. Only a tiny percentage of professors are conservative. The same is true for  government-supported media like NPR, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Libraries are dominated by the minority left. How different would America be if fifty or sixty percent of teachers, librarians, professors, public media producers, and staff in government-supported organizations were conservative?   

That ought to be a goal for conservatives. Winning elections is fine, but how much more vital is it for us to recover at least an equal voice in colleges, media, schools, libraries, and entertainment? What is wrong with us, the overwhelming majority of Americans, demanding not to be consigned to a ghetto or treated by Jim Crow standards? We begin by pointing out the obvious: conservatives are the majority of Americans, but we are almost invisible in our public and private institutions of education, information, entertainment, and study. 

Then demand that those who want our tax dollars, our commercial business, our donations -- anything, really, from us -- treat us fairly, portray us honestly, and invite us into the halls of influence. It is a modest demand, but it is very important. It is a cultural "game-changer," and that, more than anything, is what we need.

Bruce Walker is the author of two books: Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie and The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.
There's good news for conservatives in the latest Battleground Poll. The political implications are profound...if the already-energized conservative base takes even more initiative.

In August 2008, I wrote an article on "The Biggest Missing Story in Politics." The article explains that conservatives are an overwhelming majority of America. One year later, I wrote an update on that theme, this time based on the Gallup Poll which showed that conservatives outnumber liberals in virtually every state in the union. I have been writing about the remarkable Battleground Poll results in many articles for many years.   

The Battleground Poll reveals the internals of its poll. It also asks respondents the same demographic questions in each poll: What is your education level? What is your age? What is your religious affiliation? What is your marital status? Question D3 asks respondents to describe their ideology. The choices are "very conservative," "somewhat conservative," "moderate," "somewhat liberal," "very liberal," and "unsure/refused." Those asked by the Battleground Poll -- if they dislike the liberal label -- can call themselves moderates, they can refuse to answer, and they can express an uncertainty about their ideology. Only those certain of their ideology and willing to label themselves are considered conservative in the poll.

The Battleground Poll is not a Republican polling organization.  It is, rather, one of the few bipartisan polling organizations.  Republican and Democrat pollsters agree on the language of the questions for respondents, so that the questions asked are not only fairly worded, but unusually fairly worded.  Republican and Democrat pollsters agree on the population sample, so that polls results are not skewed because too many Democrats, too many Republicans, or too many independents are included.  The Battleground Poll also has proven very accurate over many elections.

The responses to Question D3 have been remarkably consistent. Respondents have changed dramatically about what they thought of President Bush or of the state of the economy or the most important issues facing our nation. Respondent may swing quite a bit about which party they support or trust the most. But in one single area of this long list of polling data, the American people have not wavered at all from Battleground Poll to Battleground Poll: About sixty percent of the American people, in poll after poll, year after year, describe themselves as "conservative."

On December 16, 2009, Battleground released its latest poll. In this one, 63% of the American people described themselves as "very conservative" or "somewhat conservative." The rest of America -- not just liberals, but moderates and people who were unsure about their ideology or chose not to respond to that question, totaled only 37% of America. A measly one percent of Americans called themselves moderates; 25% of Americans called themselves "somewhat liberal"; and 8% of Americans called themselves "very liberal." 

This is no aberration. Consider in Battleground Poll results since June 2002 the percentage of Americans who have described themselves as conservative: June 2002 (59%), September 2003 (59%), April 2004 (60%), June 2004 (59%), September 2004 (60%), October 2005 (61%), March 2006 (59%), December 2007 (58%),  July 2007 (63%), May 2008 (62%), August 2008 (60%), September 2008 (59%), and October 2008 (56%).    

In the November 2008 Battleground Poll, for the first and only time, the straight question of "conservative" or "liberal" was not posed to respondents. Instead, the poll asked respondents two separate questions: fiscal ideology was asked in Question D6 and social ideology was asked in Question D7. The Battleground Poll clearly intended to refine Question D3. What were the results? Fiscal conservatives in Question D6 were 69% of respondents. Social conservatives were 53% of respondents and social liberals were 39%. While that sounds like social conservatism is a weak link, that is misleading: a whopping 34% of all Americans described themselves as "very conservative" on social issues, by far the largest very intense group in any Battleground Poll. 

What does this mean for American politics today?  It ought to boldly empower conservatives. The "right," which every Democrat leader reflexively attacks whenever political opposition to his plans grows strong, boasts the overwhelming majority of Americans. This  explains why the left's ballot initiatives in California last year failed, in some cases, in every single county of the state and why the gay marriage ballot measure failed in liberal Maine. This also explains why Obama runs away from "labels" (all leftists do, and have for many years). 

What it means in politics is that any true conservative against a true leftist should carry every state and win by a landslide. But it means more than that. Conservatives in the areas of culture, media, entertainment, and education are treated like unwanted stepchildren, or worse (despite the fact that conservatives on average are better-educated  than liberals). 

The worst victims of invidious bigotry in America today are conservatives. Only a tiny percentage of professors are conservative. The same is true for  government-supported media like NPR, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Libraries are dominated by the minority left. How different would America be if fifty or sixty percent of teachers, librarians, professors, public media producers, and staff in government-supported organizations were conservative?   

That ought to be a goal for conservatives. Winning elections is fine, but how much more vital is it for us to recover at least an equal voice in colleges, media, schools, libraries, and entertainment? What is wrong with us, the overwhelming majority of Americans, demanding not to be consigned to a ghetto or treated by Jim Crow standards? We begin by pointing out the obvious: conservatives are the majority of Americans, but we are almost invisible in our public and private institutions of education, information, entertainment, and study. 

Then demand that those who want our tax dollars, our commercial business, our donations -- anything, really, from us -- treat us fairly, portray us honestly, and invite us into the halls of influence. It is a modest demand, but it is very important. It is a cultural "game-changer," and that, more than anything, is what we need.

Bruce Walker is the author of two books: Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie and The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.