In contrast to Americans’ party ID, which has swung from years of strong Democratic advantages to years of partisan parity or slight Republican leads, their political ideology has been more consistent. From the start of Gallup’s regular measurement of ideology in 1992, the largest segments have been conservative and moderate, while liberals have constituted the smallest group. However, within that framework, the increase in the percentage identifying as liberal, from 17% in 1992 to 25% today, is notable.
The trend in ideology by age group within each gender shows that this increased liberalism is largely the result of stronger-than-average pro-liberal shifts among 18- to 29-year-old women and women aged 65 and older. The former represents fundamental differences in the belief systems of women entering adulthood in the past decade versus in prior decades. By contrast, the change among senior women may be more about generational replacement, with formerly middle-aged women bringing their slightly more liberal attitudes into their golden years.
Meanwhile, the politics of men have either become slightly more liberal (as seen with the 30-to-49 and 65-and-older age groups) or haven’t changed (as with adults aged 18 to 29 and 50 to 64).
Thus, a widening of the ideological gaps between men and women over time has been due to women becoming more liberal at a faster rate than men, rather than women and men moving in different ideological directions.
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Friday, February 9, 2024
Women Trend Leftward
Lydia Saad at Gallup: