Poll Shows There Aren’t Many Liberals in Massachusetts, Vermont, and Oregon

Conservatives are once again likely to be excited by a Gallup poll showing more people call themselves conservative than liberal. Once again it is more a reflection of how people feel about the labels than saying anything about their actual positions. Increasingly polls show that people support the liberal position on many issues. In general voters are voting for more liberal candidates and against the more conservative candidates. They still do call themselves conservatives. The right can have that victory.

The state by state breakdown in the latest poll shows how little this means. Check out the top liberal states:

top liberal states

From the looks of this, there aren’t all that many liberals even in Massachusetts–a state where I believe there is mandatory tar-and-feathering for anyone expressing conservative beliefs.  It sure doesn’t look like a poll on self-identification as a liberal has much bearing on how liberal a state actually is.

In contrast, conservative numbers are higher in red states but even there self-identified conservatives make up less than half of those responding.

I imagine that, due to the manner in which conservatives have been successful in demonizing the word liberal, we will see such low results in polls for a long time. This will eventually change. As I noted back in June, polls also show that the dislike of the liberal label does not extend to the young.

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  1. 1
    b-psycho says:

    Yeah, I remember seeing polls awhile back showing that many self-proclaimed “conservatives” disagree with the conservative movement on several issues, so this isn’t a shock.

  2. 2
    Nick says:

    I don’t question Gallup’s findings per se. What I do wonder is what, if any, definition of conservative Gallup provided. Seriously, what does “conservative” mean? Anti-government? Anti-tax? Maybe you want to conserve the family- and want to do by strengthening such “pro-family” policies as SCHIP, Family and Medical LEeave, Medicare (so families won’t be wiped out taking care of their elders)? But wouldn’t advocating those policies make you a (insert 1980s horror movie music here) liberal?
    Maybe you want to “conserve” the values of progressivism. As George Will wrote in 1982 when Congress nixed Reagan’s plan to cut SOcial Security, “Americans are conservative. What they want to conserve is the New Deal”
    Well, I want to conserve (and expand) on the values of FDR and the New Deal! Does this make this Maryland boy and strong supporter of John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, and Barack Obama a “conservative?”

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    I haven’t looked at the wording this time but when I’ve done other posts on these polls it came down to self-identification without defining the word. It is more a poll on which labels people like than their actual views.

  4. 4
    Eclectic Radical says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if the blue state and red state numbers showing less than a majority of self-identified ‘liberals’ and ‘conservatives’ was reflective of the notion that most of us have that our own views are the mainstream. Therefore a ‘liberal’ is anyone more liberal than us and a conservative is anyone more conservative than we are, but we would identify ourselves as ‘moderate’ or ‘non-political’ regardless of the actual substance of our views.
    There are exceptions of course, which is why there are people who identify as liberal or conservative, but I think my thesis is pretty descriptive of the average American.

  5. 5
    Eclectic Radical says:

    Sheesh. We would NOT identify ourselves as a conservative or liberal regardless of our actual views, is what I meant.

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