Continuing a quarter-century trend, the term "liberal" continues to catch up with "conservative" as Americans' preferred description of their political views. Thirty-five percent of U.S. adults in 2017 identified as conservative and 26% as liberal, the first time the conservative label's edge has been single digits. Its nine-percentage-point edge in 2017 is down from 11 points in 2016 and roughly 20-point advantages at times in the past.
Longer term, the percentage of U.S. adults identifying as liberal has climbed from 17% the first year Gallup used this measure in 1992 to 26% in 2017, while the percentage calling themselves moderate has fallen from 43% to 35%. Conservatives' share of the political pie was about the same in 2017 (35%) as in 1992 (36%), although it rose to 40% several times in between. The residual group, generally 4% to 5% in recent years, is unable, or refuses, to classify themselves with one of the three terms.