Monday, November 12, 2007

"Liberal" Isn't Popular

John Hinderaker of reports some findings of a Gallup poll that are interesting. People were asked if they view themselves as "highly conservative," "conservative," "liberal," or "highly liberal." He summarizes the findings thusly:
A recent Gallup poll found that only 23 percent of voters call themselves liberals, while 39 percent describe themselves as conservatives. That ratio of close to two to one has been pretty constant for a number of years. Further, 7 percent of Gallup's respondents call themselves "very conservative" today, compared to essentially zero twenty years ago. It's shocking to recall, as Politico notes, that as recently as 1988, 15 percent of respondents said they were "very liberal." That seems inconceivable today.

I think those numbers are darned revealing, considering how unpopular W has become. The more extreme members of both major parties constitute the primary electorate. Thus Democrats have to run as liberals to get nominated, and reinvent themselves as moderates to get elected. Republicans don't have this dilemma to the same extent, because more folks are conservative.