If there are twice as many conservatives as liberals … why do I feel so lonely?

TakeAway: Conservatives continue to outnumber  liberals 2 to 1 in the American populace in 2009.

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Excerpted from Gallup: Conservatives Maintain Edge as Top Ideological Group, October 26, 2009

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.

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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.

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In addition to the increase in conservatism on this general ideology measure, Gallup finds higher percentages of Americans expressing conservative views on several specific issues in 2009 than in 2008.

  • Perceptions that there is too much government regulation of business and industry jumped from 38% in September 2008 to 45% in September 2009.
  • The percentage of Americans saying they would like to see labor unions have less influence in the country rose from 32% in August 2008 to a record-high 42% in August 2009.
  • Public support for keeping the laws governing the sale of firearms the same or making them less strict rose from 49% in October 2008 to 55% in October 2009, also a record high. (The percentage saying the laws should become more strict — the traditionally liberal position — fell from 49% to 44%.)
  • The percentage of Americans favoring a decrease in immigration rose from 39% in June/July 2008 to 50% in July 2009.
  • The propensity to want the government to “promote traditional values” — as opposed to “not favor any particular set of values” — rose from 48% in 2008 to 53% in 2009. Current support for promoting traditional values is the highest seen in five years.
  • The percentage of Americans who consider themselves “pro-life” on abortion rose from 44% in May 2008 to 51% in May 2009, and remained at a slightly elevated 47% in July 2009.
  • Americans’ belief that the global warming problem is “exaggerated” in the news rose from 35% in March 2008 to 41% in March 2009.

Gallup has not recorded heightened conservatism on all major social and political views held by Americans. For instance, attitudes on the death penalty, gay marriage, the Iraq war, and Afghanistan have stayed about the same since 2008.

However, there are no major examples of U.S. public opinion becoming more liberal in the past year.

Full article:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/123854/Conservatives-Maintain-Edge-Top-Ideological-Group.aspx

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