WSJ: More Americans Self-Identifying as Liberal

A slight uptick has been found in those Americans self-identifying themselves as liberals. According to three national polls from 2015, the number of people calling themselves liberal rose from 23 percent in 2014 to 26 percent in 2015. The percentage of those calling themselves liberal, conservative or moderate had remained steady from 2010-2014, but in the last year, the percentage of conservatives dropped from 37 percent to 33 percent.

GOP pollster Bill McInturff, analyzing data from 2010 to 2015, found that the swing toward liberalism came primarily from women, young people, Latinos and people with higher degrees of formal education. Conservatives, who used to hold a plurality, are now outnumbered; 38 percent of respondents identify as moderates, compared with the 33 percent who identify as conservative and 26 percent as liberal.

A Gallup poll from May 6-10 poll found 31 percent of respondents self-identifying as liberal on social issues, the highest percentage sine 1999 and matching those claiming they were conservative. Conservatives, though, outnumbered liberals on economic issues 39 percent to 19 percent.

McInturff found that the most liberals belong to the women’s group aged 19-49. When that group was surveyed in 2015, 37 percent identified as liberal and 23 percent as conservative, as opposed to 2010, when 27 percent identified as liberal and 33 percent as conservative. Thirty-four percent of the group aged 18-34 now identifies as liberal, with 26 percent saying they are conservative; in 2010, 32 percent called themselves conservative and 28 percent liberal.

Yet the New York Times warned in July 2014 that the youth of America could well turn conservative eventually, writing, “They are too young to remember much about the Bush years or the excitement surrounding the first Obama presidential campaign. They instead are coming of age with a Democratic president who often seems unable to fix the world’s problems.”


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