A Conservative America

Conservatives dramatically outnumber liberals in America. We should take strength from this persistent fact in virtually all polling done by every major polling organization over the last twenty years. 

The latest evidence of this is found in a Gallup Poll published on February 6, 2015 -- Ronald Reagan’s birthday -- which measured state by state the breakdown of conservatives, moderates, and liberals. Gallup has published this sort of poll on a regular basis since 2008. What did the 2015 poll show? Conservatives outnumber liberals in 47 out of the 50 states. Only Hawaii, Vermont, and Massachusetts have more liberals than conservatives, although even in these three states the liberal advantage over conservatives is very slight. 

This 2015 Gallup Poll is consistent with every single published Gallup survey on this subject going back to the first survey in 2008. Some of these polls showed that conservatives outnumbered liberals in every state and some showed two or three states had more liberals than conservatives, always tiny liberal pluralities.

What about “moderates”? The 2015 survey shows that in 27 out of 50 states conservatives outnumber moderates. Nationally, conservatives outnumber moderates and, of course, dramatically outnumber liberals. Polls which do not provide a “moderate” option show that moderates break about evenly and this translates into a strong conservative majority.

This Gallup survey is consistent with the many Battleground Poll results over the last fifteen years. The December 2014 Battleground Poll, for example, shows that 56% of Americans described themselves as “Very Conservative” or “Somewhat Conservatives,” while only 35% of Americans call themselves “Very Liberal” or “Somewhat Liberal.” 

This is a landslide, even if all of the 6% who were “Unsure/Refused” and the 4% who were “Moderate” were actually liberal. The more logical interpretation would be to assume that these wishy-washy respondents would break down into 6 points conservative and 4 points liberal, reflecting the pattern of those who called themselves conservative or liberal. That would mean a 62% conservative and 38% liberal division of America.

Other recent national polls who the same pattern. Gannet Broadcasting in October of 2014 published its poll which showed 33% of Americans call themselves conservative and 21% call themselves liberal. This almost certainly understates conservative strength. The same poll shows that 35% of respondents are Democrats and only 27% are Republicans, which is completely out of synch with both the election results the following month and Gallup and Rasmussen, which more Republicans than Democrats in America or Battleground Poll which in December showed 40% Republican and 41% Democrat self-identification.

These national polls mirror what local newspapers and television stations have shown as the ideological breakdown of particular states and these independently conducted local polls by local media outlets in states generally track what Gallup found in its own state by state breakdown. Both the local polls and the Gallup poll show, in states considered blue or swing states that, in fact, there is a clear conservative advantage over liberals. Here are the results of local and the Gallup Poll in Florida, Minnesota, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

WFLA-TV shows Florida 30% conservative and 18% liberal (Gallup says 37% conservative and 22% liberal.) KSTV shows Minnesota 35% conservative and 17% liberal (Gallup says 35% conservative and 24% liberal.) KOB-TV shows New Mexico 36% conservative and 18% liberal (Gallup says 35% conservative and 21% liberal.) The Denver Post shows Colorado 32% conservative and 21% liberal (Gallup says 34% conservative and 25% liberal.) The Las Vegas Review-Journal shows Nevada 36% conservative and 17% liberal (Gallup says 37% conservative and 23% liberal.) KATU-TV shows Oregon 27% conservative and 21% liberal (Gallup says 34% conservative and 27% liberal) and KATU-TV also shows neighboring Washington 29% conservative and 25% liberal (Gallup says 32% conservative and 27% liberal.)

Why have Americans not voted as strongly for Republicans as their ideology would suggest they would? Recall that I noted the latest Gallup Poll was published on Ronald Reagan’s birthday, February 6th.  Reagan, the last unapologetically conservative Republican presidential candidate did capture the votes of conservatives in America and he won two landslides. As Republicans decide who will lead them in 2016, surely the best chance of nominating a winner is to nominate a conservative.