- Apr 12, 2008
- Reaction score
- real world
PRINCETON, NJ -- Political ideology in the U.S. held steady in 2011, with 40% of Americans continuing to describe their views as conservative, 35% as moderate, and 21% as liberal. This marks the third straight year that conservatives have outnumbered moderates, after more than a decade in which moderates mainly tied or outnumbered conservatives.
The percentage of Americans calling themselves "moderate" has gradually diminished in the U.S. since it was 43% in 1992. That is the year Gallup started routinely measuring ideology with the current question. It fell to 39% in 2002 and has been 35% since 2010. At the same time, the country became more politically polarized, with the percentages of Americans calling themselves either "conservative" or "liberal" each increasing.
Independents Mostly Moderate, but Also More Conservative Than Liberal
Independents -- who make up the largest political group in the country -- have been steadier ideologically than either major party group over the last decade. However, since 2008, the proportion describing themselves as moderate has declined slightly, from 46% to 41%, and the proportion who are conservative has increased slightly, from 30% to 35%.
Currently, the largest segment of independents describe their views as moderate, while significantly more identify as conservative than as liberal, 35% vs. 20%.