Conservatives still outnumber liberals by nearly 2-1

Rick Moran
Gallup is out with their annual poll of Americans sorted by ideology and results mirror those from last year:

Americans' political ideology at the midyear point of 2011 looks similar to 2009 and 2010, with 41% self-identifying as conservative, 36% as moderate, and 21% as liberal.

If this pattern continues, 2011 will be the third straight year that conservatives significantly outnumber moderates -- the next largest ideological bloc. Liberalism has been holding steady for the past six years, averaging either 21% or 22%, although notably higher than the 17% average seen in Gallup polling during the early to middle '90s.

Longer term, the Gallup ideology trend, dating from 1992, documents increased political polarization in the country. The percentage of moderates has fallen to the mid-30s from the low 40s, while the combined percentage either liberal or conservative is now 62%, up from 53%.

The 2011 half-year results are based on more than 10,000 U.S. national adults interviewed across 10 Gallup and USA Today/Gallup surveys conducted from January through June.

A much higher proportion of Republicans call themselves "very conservative" or "conservative" (71%) than Democrats call themselves "very liberal" or "liberal" (38%). Democrats are as likely to call themselves moderates as liberals.

Additionally conservative Republicans are a bit more likely to call themselves very conservative than liberal Democrats are to identify as very liberal. As a result, hard right Republicans outnumber hard left Democrats by more than 2 to 1, 21% vs. 9%.

One interesting note: There are twice as many self-identified "moderates" in the Democratic party as the Republican party. This does not mean that all those Democrats are necessarily "moderate" - except in their own fevered imagination. It means that many Democrats actually believe their views are in the mainstream ("No one I know voted for Bush.") In actuality, there are probably a roughly equal number of moderates in both parties, which are dominated by their ideological bases.


Gallup is out with their annual poll of Americans sorted by ideology and results mirror those from last year:

Americans' political ideology at the midyear point of 2011 looks similar to 2009 and 2010, with 41% self-identifying as conservative, 36% as moderate, and 21% as liberal.

If this pattern continues, 2011 will be the third straight year that conservatives significantly outnumber moderates -- the next largest ideological bloc. Liberalism has been holding steady for the past six years, averaging either 21% or 22%, although notably higher than the 17% average seen in Gallup polling during the early to middle '90s.

Longer term, the Gallup ideology trend, dating from 1992, documents increased political polarization in the country. The percentage of moderates has fallen to the mid-30s from the low 40s, while the combined percentage either liberal or conservative is now 62%, up from 53%.

The 2011 half-year results are based on more than 10,000 U.S. national adults interviewed across 10 Gallup and USA Today/Gallup surveys conducted from January through June.

A much higher proportion of Republicans call themselves "very conservative" or "conservative" (71%) than Democrats call themselves "very liberal" or "liberal" (38%). Democrats are as likely to call themselves moderates as liberals.

Additionally conservative Republicans are a bit more likely to call themselves very conservative than liberal Democrats are to identify as very liberal. As a result, hard right Republicans outnumber hard left Democrats by more than 2 to 1, 21% vs. 9%.

One interesting note: There are twice as many self-identified "moderates" in the Democratic party as the Republican party. This does not mean that all those Democrats are necessarily "moderate" - except in their own fevered imagination. It means that many Democrats actually believe their views are in the mainstream ("No one I know voted for Bush.") In actuality, there are probably a roughly equal number of moderates in both parties, which are dominated by their ideological bases.