Newsletter subscribe

Elections, Politics

More than twice as many conservatives as liberals in America

Posted: June 9, 2012 at 2:28 am   /   by

In an earlier post, we discussed an analysis of Gallup’s massive survey on party ID by National Review’s Michael Franc, analysis that suggests that pollsters are getting the numbers wrong. Simply put, voters are moving back into the GOP column in sizable numbers, and pollsters are not taking that into account (and thus getting their topline results wrong).

Gallup has other data that reinforce the party identification trend:

Here’s a hurdle that President Obama may have a tough time clearing in November: The country is more conservative now than it was in 2008 when he was elected, and more so than in 2006 when Democrats won both houses of Congress.

In a survey released last week, Gallup found that on economic issues, 46% of Americans identify as conservative and only 20% as liberal. Those same numbers were 38% and 28% back in 2008. On social issues the gap is narrower, but more Americans identify themselves as socially conservative (38%) than as moderate (31%) or liberal (28%). In 2008, 35% called themselves socially liberal and 35% called themselves moderate.

Now, 100% of self-identified conservatives  will not register as or vote for Republicans. But most will. The ideological identification trend is generally in sync with the party identification trend.

These things, of course, are always fluid:

Self-described conservatives have dipped since the big landslide protest midterm elections in 2010. Then 51% called themselves economic conservatives and only 15% called themselves liberals …

51% and 46% are both very large numbers, both sufficiently large that pollsters and Democratic campaign operatives alike should really stop and take notice. And perhaps politicians might do better if they, oh gosh, how to put this . . . governed more conservatively.

Christopher Cook

Christopher Cook

Managing Editor at Western Free Press
Christopher Cook is a writer, editor, and political commentator. He is the president of Castleraine, Inc., a consulting firm providing a diverse array of services to corporate, public policy, and not-for-profit clients.

Ardently devoted to the cause of human freedom, he has worked at the confluence of politics, activism, and public policy for more than a decade. He co-wrote a ten-part series of video shorts on economics, and has film credits as a researcher on 11 political documentaries, including Citizens United's notorious film on Hillary Clinton that became the subject of a landmark Supreme Court decision. He is the founder of several activist endeavors, including (now a part of Western Free Press) and He is currently the managing editor of and principal contributor to
Christopher Cook