Skip to comments.Gallup: Social conservatism bounces up, economic conservatism steady
Posted on 05/26/2012 7:46:53 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Interestingly, Gallup didn’t lead with the finding on social conservatism from its latest survey, but that may be because the bounce upward followed two straight declines in the same series. The focus on economic conservatism is a little more dramatic, if consistent:
Americans are more than twice as likely to identify themselves as conservative rather than liberal on economic issues, 46% to 20%. The gap is narrower on social issues, but conservatives still outnumber liberals, 38% to 28%. …
In the same poll, on Gallup’s standard measure of ideology — not asked in reference to any set of issues — 41% identified themselves as conservatives, 33% as moderates, and 23% as liberals. Those figures are similar to what Gallup typically finds when it asks people to identify their ideology.
Thus, compared with the standard measure of ideology, slightly more Americans say they are economically conservative and slightly fewer say they are socially conservative. Also, significantly more Americans say they are socially liberal than identify their basic ideology as liberal.
Why might that be? Perhaps because to be seen as socially liberal is more “cool.” It may also provide a bit of social cover for economic conservatism; I’ve heard people say, “Yes, I’m a fiscal conservative, but I’m socially liberal” on a number of occasions. However, the actual breakout shows that people don’t actually think of themselves in that way. Of the 46% who claim to be economic conservatives, only 3% also claim in this study to be social liberals, with 11% identifying as social moderates.
This is the same survey, however, that found a majority of respondents identifying as “pro-life,” with pro-choice identification dropping to 41%, a new low. That indicates that either more social moderates are crossing over to pro-life, or social moderates might be disappearing. This graph from the survey suggests it might be more of the latter:
It’s interesting to note that while social conservatism peaked and slid, social liberalism dipped and rose, with moderates benefiting briefly. This looks more like a slight trend toward polarization, and moderates may end up at the bottom of the split in subsequent polls. That’s also the trend with economics, but the difference between moderates and liberals is still large enough that there is little danger of economic liberals overtaking the moderates, while economic conservatives remain near the majority.
What does that mean for the 2012 election? The model suggests that Barack Obama and Democrats will have a tough time, although not as tough as in 2010, given that the election will almost entirely hinge on economic policies. The split for C/M/L on economics in 2008 was 40/38/19, and Obama at that time got a lot of support from moderates who thought he was one of them. In 2010, it was 51/33/15, which drove the midterm victories for the GOP. Now we’re back at 46/32/20, still a much more significant gap than in 2010, plus Obama will have a tough time selling himself as a moderate. To the extent that social issues come into play at all, the chart above doesn’t suggest that it will be very helpful to Obama — except perhaps as a distraction from economics.
"Social conservatism bounces up"
Hmmm, that must be disappointing news for the "Fithcally Conthervative" Mafia in their RINO Trojan Log-Cabin.
GeeOpie: What happens now?Scott Toomey: Well, now, uh, Ken Mehlman, R. Clarke Cooper, Meghan McCain, Mary Cheney, Myth Womney and I wait until nightfall, and then leap out of the Fithcally Conthervative log cabin, taking The Party(tm) by surprise -- not only by surprise, but totally unarmed!GeeOpie: Who leaps out?Scott Toomey: Uh, Ken Mehlman, R. Clarke Cooper, Meghan McCain, Mary Cheney, Myth Womney and I. Uh, leap out of the log cabin, uh and uh....GeeOpie: Oh....Scott Toomey: Oh.... Um, l-look, if we built this large wooden Rhinocerous -- [twong]ALL: Run away! Run away! Run away! Run away![splat]
The key take away should be that from mid 2009 to Nov 2010 the peak of conservatism was driven largely by a strong unified tea party anti-Obamacare message. It shouldn’t be surprising that we saw a dip as the message became less clear and the new GOP let things get muddled and also as the dumb primary that we just went through which only further helped to muddle things. Notice as social issues (gay marriage) and economic issues are coming to the forefront again that total conservatism is on the rise. We gain nothing by allowing our debates to become muted by bipartisanship and not leading with clarity.
The problem with polls is that given the liberal tilt of the popular culture,academic culture,political class and media culture is that it creates a nature suppression of conservatism. Thus you get the I’m a fiscal conservative crap but not a social conservative. However a majority of the same if queried directly on abortion or on details of gay activism would not be supportive at all.
This is why you see such a divergence between polls which ask questions like “Do you believe gay marriage should be illegal” rather than the more accurate question “Do you believe that marriage should be considered to be one man and one woman or do you believe it should be considered two men or two women?” and the actual vote. The press is purposely trying to apply peer pressure on a national scale to get the poll results they wish.
Of course the debate isn’t even if gay marriage should be illegal. No one is trying to make it illegal. All that the law is doing is preventing the federal govt from licensing or treating same sex unions as marriage. Any person can cohabit and even get ‘married’ if they can find a church or organization to do so and many do exist. There is no right that they are being denied except the right to force everyone to treat men and women as if they are not different and as if the world is gender neutral which it is not nor should it be.
These polls are a snapshot of an occupied culture and that so many are identifying as total conservatives is excellent. I don’t like that the % of liberals have up ticked but the ultimate polarization will benefit us in the long run. A more polarized electorate is a more informed engaged politically active electorate. It is also more patriotic and all of that is good if you really want to move America towards the promise of its founding.
I’ve been noticing in the polls that independents are turning against Obama and that independents are more upset about his change on gay marriage. Isn’t that interesting?
I believe conservatism is as a recent study suggests a more natural state. It is the approach someone takes when they are have to make the hard decisions that have no room for naive wishes. This is why the left has to work so hard to control the messaging and apply cultural pressure to suppress the practical nature of man. It is natural to revile killing unborn babies, it is natural to revile men having sex with men, it is natural to revile laziness and parasitism, it is natural to desire to procreate and build families, it is natural to want to keep what you earn and work for. The left has to deconstruct these practical natural positions and brainwash the population which is why they are so very keen on getting the kids young. They require pedophilic access to the brains of the young so to get them to think that what would normally be seen as wholly outrageous ideas to sane adults can be normalized and made to seem common.
Excellent and well written post. Very astute observations. My compliments. Even read it twice.
These polls are worthless
What people call themselves is meaningless
Only poll that matters is on election day and Obama is president
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