Gallup: Conservatives outnumber liberals 2-1

Rick Moran
It's not surprising - we've been tracking this since Obama was elected. And here we are 10 months into the Age of Obama and all the talk about a "transformative" election where the country took a wild swing to the left last November has all but disappeared.

The election of Barack Obama was a political anomaly - a hiccup in an otherwise conservative body politic. The reasons are pretty obvious, beginning with a terrible GOP candidate who ran an abysmal campaign, coupled with the Republicans turning away from conservative principles while being corrupted by power in Washington.

Here are the raw numbers from Gallup going back to 1992:



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Note the decline in the number of conservatives in the latter part of the Bush presidency. That decline correlates with the worst of GOP corruption scandals and a rising budget deficit. It also marks the high point of liberal smears against conservatives, which may have discouraged many from publicly proclaiming their ideology.

But today?

Conservatives continue to outnumber moderates and liberals in the American populace in 2009, confirming a finding that Gallup first noted in June. Forty percent of Americans describe their political views as conservative, 36% as moderate, and 20% as liberal. This marks a shift from 2005 through 2008, when moderates were tied with conservatives as the most prevalent group.

And even more importantly, independents haven't bought into this "liberal surge" among citizens either:

Changes among political independents appear to be the main reason the percentage of conservatives has increased nationally over the past year: the 35% of independents describing their views as conservative in 2009 is up from 29% in 2008. By contrast, among Republicans and Democrats, the percentage who are "conservative" has increased by one point each.As is typical in recent years, Republicans are far more unified in their political outlook than are either independents or Democrats. While 72% of Republicans in 2009 call their views conservative, independents are closely split between the moderate and conservative labels (43% and 35%, respectively). Democrats are about evenly divided between moderates (39%) and liberals (37%).

Victory is inherent in those numbers...if:

1. If the Republican party returns to its conservative roots.

2. If the GOP can come up with a winning, positive agenda that will attract independents who are more responsive to that kind of message.

3. If Republicans can convince conservatives that they have mended their profligate spending ways and are now ready to make the hard choices on the budget to save us from bankruptcy.

Unfortunately, I see very little of this taking place at the national level. Obviously, reform will have to bubble up from the bottom. And while there appear to be good beginnings along that line with the tea party groups, there is a long way to go before the national GOP gets the message.


It's not surprising - we've been tracking this since Obama was elected. And here we are 10 months into the Age of Obama and all the talk about a "transformative" election where the country took a wild swing to the left last November has all but disappeared.

The election of Barack Obama was a political anomaly - a hiccup in an otherwise conservative body politic. The reasons are pretty obvious, beginning with a terrible GOP candidate who ran an abysmal campaign, coupled with the Republicans turning away from conservative principles while being corrupted by power in Washington.

Here are the raw numbers from Gallup going back to 1992:



Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Note the decline in the number of conservatives in the latter part of the Bush presidency. That decline correlates with the worst of GOP corruption scandals and a rising budget deficit. It also marks the high point of liberal smears against conservatives, which may have discouraged many from publicly proclaiming their ideology.

But today?

Conservatives continue to outnumber moderates and liberals in the American populace in 2009, confirming a finding that Gallup first noted in June. Forty percent of Americans describe their political views as conservative, 36% as moderate, and 20% as liberal. This marks a shift from 2005 through 2008, when moderates were tied with conservatives as the most prevalent group.

And even more importantly, independents haven't bought into this "liberal surge" among citizens either:

Changes among political independents appear to be the main reason the percentage of conservatives has increased nationally over the past year: the 35% of independents describing their views as conservative in 2009 is up from 29% in 2008. By contrast, among Republicans and Democrats, the percentage who are "conservative" has increased by one point each.

As is typical in recent years, Republicans are far more unified in their political outlook than are either independents or Democrats. While 72% of Republicans in 2009 call their views conservative, independents are closely split between the moderate and conservative labels (43% and 35%, respectively). Democrats are about evenly divided between moderates (39%) and liberals (37%).

Victory is inherent in those numbers...if:

1. If the Republican party returns to its conservative roots.

2. If the GOP can come up with a winning, positive agenda that will attract independents who are more responsive to that kind of message.

3. If Republicans can convince conservatives that they have mended their profligate spending ways and are now ready to make the hard choices on the budget to save us from bankruptcy.

Unfortunately, I see very little of this taking place at the national level. Obviously, reform will have to bubble up from the bottom. And while there appear to be good beginnings along that line with the tea party groups, there is a long way to go before the national GOP gets the message.