According to the results of a recent Gallup poll, for the 2018 year, more Americans identify as conservative and independent than liberal – numbers that do not bode well for Democrats with the 2020 election drawing ever closer.
The 2018 data indicates that while approximately 35% of American voters see themselves as conservatives, with another 35% seeing themselves as moderates, only 26% of those polled identified as liberals.
Additionally, of those who identified as a Democrat, only 51% said they identified as a liberal, with the rest claiming more moderate stances.
Now, as the polarization between Democrats and Republicans continues to grow, a growing number of voters appears increasingly alienated by the left, which could prove disastrous for Democrats heading into the 2020 election.
- Conservatives continue to outnumber liberals, 35% to 26%
- Nine-point difference ties last year for slimmest in Gallup trends
- For first time, majority of Democrats identify as liberal
Americans’ assessment of their political ideology was unchanged in 2018 compared with the year prior when 35% on average described themselves as conservative, 35% as moderate and 26% as liberal. Although conservatives continue to outnumber liberals, the gap in conservatives’ favor has narrowed from 19 percentage points in Gallup’s 1992 baseline measurement to nine points each of the past two years.
The majority of Republicans has called themselves conservative each year, with most of the rest identifying as moderate. No more than 8% have called themselves liberal on average in any year since 1994.
The percentage of Republicans calling themselves conservative has increased, rising 15 points since 1994. This occurred in two phases:
- After averaging 61% from 1994 to 2002, the percentage of Republicans identifying as conservative jumped to 66% in 2003 and stayed near that level through 2007.
- In 2008, a presidential election year that culminated in the race between Obama and John McCain, the percentage of Republicans identifying as conservative rose to 70% and has since ranged from 68% to 73%.
The 73% of Republicans identifying as conservative in 2018 matches the high point in the trend, previously recorded in 2012.