Gallup Finds Increase In Self-Described Liberals

Gallup Liberals

In a poll of limited significance, Gallup has found an increase in the number of self-described liberals:

Conservatives continued to outnumber moderates and liberals in the U.S. population in 2014, as they have since 2009. However, their 14-percentage-point edge over liberals last year, 38% vs. 24%, is the smallest in Gallup’s trends since 1992. The percentage of U.S. adults identifying themselves as politically conservative in 2014 was unchanged from 2013, as was the percentage of moderates, at 34%, while the percentage considering themselves liberal rose a percentage point for the third straight year.

While not a huge number, this might contradict the idea that the Republican midterm victory was a sign of greater support for conservative views.

I find this to be of limited significance as people tend to take more liberal positions on polls than would be expected if self-described labels had a real bearing on political positions. I have generally seen this poll to be more a measure of the demonization of the word liberal by the right wing noise machine than a measure of ideological beliefs, and perhaps this trend shows that conservatives are having less success in demonizing liberals.

Besides polling on issues, I find the recent Pew survey on religious affiliation to be more meaningful than this poll. Among their findings which might be of significance in speculating on political trends, Pew found that “Among Americans ages 18-29, one-in-four say they are not currently affiliated with any particular religion.”

Another finding of interest is that, while 70 percent of Republicans label themselves conservative, only 44 percent of Democrats label themselves liberal. Is this due to a majority of Democrats not being liberal, or again due to people simply avoiding the term liberal? I suspect it is a combination of each, with the Democratic Party being a more centrist party, but also with many Democrats supporting liberal positions without using the liberal label.

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5 Comments

  1. 1
    David Duff says:

    Never mind all this political piffle, I bring you glad tidings!  TONIGHT, at 9.00pm and at 9.55pm(UK) on BBC4 there are the first two episodes of ‘Spiral’ (fifth season) starring two of the most gorgeous drop-dead women on ‘telly’!  With those two, Parisian crime seems so much more elegant than our London lot and certainly far superior to your scruffy Chicagoan low-life!

    Seriously, it is an excellent series, well worth watching if you can get to it ‘over there’.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Doing a quick search I found two listings for Spiral, one BBC4 and one French (with some availability here) with subtitles. Both are described as being about crime in Paris. I wonder if they are the same show, or if BB4 is doing their own show based upon a French show of the same name.

  3. 3
    David Duff says:

    Non, non, mon ami, it’s Fench with s/titles.  Just watched it – terrific!

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Season one (and only season one so far) is available on Netflix. There are also ways to get subsequent seasons.

    Current seasons of BBC/ITV/Channel 4 shows are rarely available here at the same time as they air for you. Off hand Doctor Who is the only show I can think of which has been on same day. Otherwise the delay can be months, if available at all. Generally with shows I’m interested in following I download copies before they are available here. I do pay for the most expensive cable tier and subscribe to all the major streaming services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu) but sometimes there are still shows which I have to download to obtain here.

  5. 5
    David Duff says:

    Well good hunting!  I don’t know about the early series but the last two and the current one which has just started are terrific, I would say among the very best I have ever seen!  Always several threads running through them but so skilfully told that you never lose any of them.

    Keep trying!

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