That Darned Conservative Majority
There is a "Real America" out there -- a conservative America that remains hidden beneath a mountain of pessimism which we conservatives have come to live with because we have so little voice in the institutions of American society. Indeed, the Gallup Poll, which has hardly been a friend of conservatives, has conducted five polls over the last three years which broke down ideological self-identification state by state.
In August 2009, Gallup data showed that conservatives outnumbered liberals in every single state. In February 2010, Gallup presented polling data that showed the same thing: though the numbers were different, conservatives outnumbered liberals in every state. Six months later, Gallup presented new polling numbers which showed that conservatives outnumbered liberals in every state but Rhode Island. One year ago, in February 2011, Gallup again showed polling data which revealed that in every single state, conservatives outnumbered liberals. Then, in February 2012, the Gallup Poll showed that in every state except Massachusetts, conservatives outnumbered liberals.
Crucially, Gallup never played up this startling news about the ideological composition of our nation. Instead it seemed to downplay this very big story. That ought to be very encouraging to conservatives, but instead many of us seem inconsolable and seem certain that our countrymen have been bribed or hypnotized or flattered into leftism by the organs of leftist propaganda or the leftist cadres within the federal government.
Survey USA, which sometimes uses the polling of local organizations in a state and sometimes conducts its own polls, conducted a national poll a few days before the latest Battleground Poll. This poll also shows that nationally, conservatives far outnumber liberals. Moreover, the polls conducted by local news organizations which report through Survey USA show the same thing.
The Battleground Poll, conducted by George Washington University in collaboration with a Democrat and a Republican polling organization, also has published the ideological self-identification of Americans. The latest Battleground Poll has just been released, and the pattern in the latest Battleground Poll is identical to the previous twenty-one polls over the last ten years.
In the latest poll, 58% of Americans describe themselves as "very conservative" or "somewhat conservative," while only 37% of Americans describe themselves as "very liberal" or "somewhat liberal." The "moderate" or "don't know" remain as in past polls very small, at 2% for both of those groups. Moreover, conservative Americans are much more conservative than liberal Americans are liberal. So, while 61% of Americans who identify themselves as conservative or liberal pick "conservative," when asked if they are "very conservative" or "very liberal," 68% of those strongly ideological Americans are "very conservative" while only 32% are "very liberal."
Is Battleground over-reporting conservatism in America? As I noted last November, the other Battleground Poll questions seem almost to be leftist push-polling. Look at the structure of Question 26, Question 27, Question 31, or Question 32 of that poll. Each question has false choices or leftist assumptions.
In September 2011, I noted that the August 2011 Battleground Poll seemed to show a significant drop in the percentage of conservatives in America, down to "only" 55% compared to 39% liberals. A review of the demographics of the population polled in August 2011, however, shows something very interesting: the age group of 18-24 had jumped dramatically over what it had been in all of the previous Battleground Polls, and the 24-29 age group had also gotten bigger than in previous Battleground Poll reports. America did not suddenly get much younger. Battleground had changed its polling sample.
Does a review of the February 2012 Battleground Poll demographics reveal anything unusual? Look at Question D6, which asks: "Which candidate for President of the United States did you vote for?" The response from those Battleground Poll polled was 54% "Barack Obama" and 41% "John McCain." What was the actual popular vote in 2008? Barack Obama received 52.9% of the vote and John McCain received 45.7% of the vote.
In the previous Battleground Poll, 48% of those polled said that they had voted for "Barack Obama" while 41% said that they had voted for John McCain, reflecting the actual seven-point gap in the 2008 election. That was identical to the May 2011 answers to Question D6. While all the other Battleground Polls after the 2008 election showed more Americans stating that they voted for Obama than McCain in their answers to Question D5 (Question D5 in earlier polls was Question D6 in the last few polls), the gap was much smaller than in the February 2012 Battleground Poll.
The answer to D6 (or D5 in earlier polls) did not relate to opinion or to future actions. It was a matter of simple historical fact: which candidate one voted for in 2008. The data ought to remain stable and ought to correspond closely to the actual election results. What happened in the latest Battleground Poll, which provides other encouraging news for leftists and Democrats, is that the population of Obama voters shot up dramatically while the population of McCain voters slumped.
The reality ought to be obvious to any American who is not a perennial conservative pessimist or a delusional leftist: conservatives are the overwhelming majority of Americans. The polling organizations which tell us that are none too happy about their findings and have tried to hide this fact or tweak populations to minimize conservatives.
That darned conservative majority, whose existence seems to please no one, remains resilient, robust, and very, very real.