Media Meme to follow: These are great times to be a liberal in the U.S. of A.  Elizabeth Warren has ignited a progressive surge!

The Hill: Liberal identification spikes.

Gallup: Liberal Self-Identification Edges Up to New High in 2013

Well yes, if by spike and new high you mean exactly 1 point higher than in 2008, and 2 points higher than in 2010-2011.

Here’s Gallup’s explanation:

Americans continue to be more likely to identify as conservatives (38%) than as liberals (23%). But the conservative advantage is down to 15 percentage points as liberal identification edged up to its highest level since Gallup began regularly measuring ideology in the current format in 1992….

When Gallup began asking about ideological identification in all its polls in 1992, an average 17% of Americans said they were liberal. That dipped to 16% in 1995 and 1996, but has gradually increased, exceeding 20% each year since 2005.

The rise in liberal identification has been accompanied by a decline in moderate identification. At 34% in 2013, it is the lowest Gallup has measured, and down nine points since 1992. Moderates had been the largest ideological group throughout the 1990s, and competed with conservatives for the top spot during the 2000s. Since 2009, conservatives have consistently been the largest U.S. ideological group.

The percentage of conservatives has always far exceeded the percentage of liberals, by as much as 22 points in 1996. With more Americans identifying as liberals in recent years, and conservative identification holding steady, the conservative advantage of 15 points ties the 2007 and 2008 gaps as the smallest.

The key finding, however, is not in the headline, but in the breakdown.  Only Democrats have become more liberal, the rest of the country, particularly amond Independents, is as conservative as ever (emphasis added):

In fact, the rise in liberal identification among all Americans is due exclusively to the changes among Democrats. Independents are no more likely now than in the past to describe their political views as liberal. The main change in independents’ views is that they increasingly call themselves conservative. That could be related to recent developments in party identification, with fewer Americans now identifying as Republicans and more as independents. Thus, the change in independents’ ideological preferences may be attributable to former Republicans, who are more likely to be politically conservative, now residing in the independent category.

Gallup liberal self identification Jan 2014 Independents

Somewhere, MSNBC’s Lean Forward business plan is crying.


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