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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Democrats and Idelogy

Lydia Saad at Gallup:
Whereas Republicans nationwide are highly unified in their ideological outlook, with most (75%) identifying as conservative, Democrats are more fragmented. According to Gallup data collected thus far in 2021, the largest subgroup of Democrats are those who describe their political views as liberal, at 51%. The other half are mostly self-described moderates (37%), along with a small group of conservatives (12%).


The percentage of Democrats identifying as politically liberal increased fairly steadily from 30% in 2001 to 50% in 2017. It has remained there since then, including today's 51%. As their numbers have expanded, liberals have edged out both moderates and conservatives. But moderates have been holding steady near 38% since 2013, while conservatives have become even more scarce.


The liberal wing of the party has had considerable momentum during this century. But despite its gains, it now represents half of all Democrats, with the other half still identifying as moderate or conservative. And while the party is now solidly liberal on social issues, it remains politically fragmented on economic issues.

Although having such a diverse political makeup has its challenges, that diversity could be helping the Democratic Party maintain its edge over Republicans in party affiliation. Even as the two parties are closely split when it comes to firm party identifiers, Democrats have held the significant edge in leaned party for most of the past two decades, including by 48% versus 42% so far this year.