According to Cornell political scientist Peter Enns, conservatives are beginning to break through across the country. Based on “measures of policy mood for eac state from the 1950s to 2010,” Enns and his colleague Julianna Koch found that there has been a conservative opinion shift in every single state across the country. Most of the increases were “statistically significant”; the same held true for regions.
Between 1964 and 2010, America shifted heavily when asked whether every person should be provided a job by the government, or whether government should allow everyone to get ahead individually. Asked whether Washington was becoming too powerful, the country has again shifted dramatically.
Those statistics do not hold true on same-sex marriage, and there is no question that policy liberalism grew during the 1980s, but then reversed itself. The bad news: the public moves in the opposite direction of policy – so should Republicans win, public opinion is likely to swing to the left. Nonetheless, the study suggests that America has moved steadily to the right since the full-fledged embrace of the welfare state.