Conservatives Stand Athwart History, Yelling Faster, Pussycat, Faster!

From Gallup, a snapshot of American political discontent:

Changes among political independents appear to be the main reason the percentage of conservatives has increased nationally over the past year: the 35% of independents describing their views as conservative in 2009 is up from 29% in 2008.

The data that goes into this comes from 16 national polls conducted between January and September 2009. Findings indicate that the country is getting more conservative across a wide array of issues, including a sense the government is regulating business too much, that global warming is exaggerated, and (boo!) that the government should promote "traditional values" rather than be neutral.

More here. Via Drudge.

This data is broadly consistent with the Harris Poll, which has shown for the past 30-plus years that self-identified independents and conservatives far outnumber self-identified liberals. Interestingly, this is independent of party affiliation, which has consistenly been more Democratic than Republican.

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  • Br'er Rabbit||

    (boo!) that the government should promote "traditional values" rather than be neutral.

    If the "promotion" falls short of force and coercion that's fine by me.Better than undermining "traditional values".

  • dennis||

    Is it possible for the government to promote anything absent coercion at some level? Furthermore, "traditional values" is usually code for homophobia, sexism, hypocritical neo-Victorian prudishness, and censorship. A pox on "traditional values."

  • Bo D||

    What if the "traditional values" are the values that make people live their lives in such a fashion that they need less or no government? A pox on your bogus definitions, big boy.

  • dennis||

    Well little fella, that's why I said "'traditional values' is usually code for...." it would be absurd to expect the government to promote values which would reduce its power. The only thing it could do would be to withdraw its tentacles from various areas of human existence. My definition was far from bogus.

  • MJ||

    Which kind of calls into question the trend of both major parties moving towards appaealing to people on their left.

  • Mango Punch||

    I'm super wicked ultra liberal

  • Suki||

    That sounds so sexy!

    Off to work.

  • MJ||

    Found one! Break out the tar and feathers!

  • Mike in PA||

    Hmm, Conservative, Moderate, or Liberal... Are those my only options?

    Liberal in this poll does not mean "classic liberal."

    The one nice thing I saw about this poll is that the number of people who consider themselves conservative that want government to promote "traditional" values is actually coming down. Of course, the moderates (whoever the hell they are) are increasingly wanting to promote those values.

  • ||

    When will we finally get rid of this polarizing forest-green-state/lime-green-state mentality?

  • hotsauce||

    win

  • @||

    But where are the libertarians on that chart? Oh, I see them. The horizontal gray line just above the dates. At least we're consistent.

  • hmm||

    The important question is is the reference to the cult film or 80s band named after cult film? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • Marc||

    The second Pussycat makes it a reference to the film. QED, bitches.

  • ||

    Wow, joe's center left theory didn't last long.

  • Xeones||

    That's because joe is intellectually dishonest, James.

  • ||

    Yeah, well you're anally dishonest. Nyah.

  • John S||

    I read the graph as a result of the Bush buffoonary allowing Liberals to redefine Conservatism to the "moderates".
    Fortunately, we have Obama throwing cold water on everyone's face.

  • ||

    The range of acceptable discourse has been defined in such a way that "moderates" are really more towards the left. The moniker "liberal" is only used by people on the extreme left, while "conservative" is used by people even on the center-right (eg, Huckabee, Graham, etc).

  • Xeones||

    Yeah, well you're anally dishonest. Nyah.

    Poor spoof, dude. Nothing about "looming large?" And what does "anally dishonest" mean, anyway? My poops are lies? Based on the reactions when i'm done in the bathroom, my coworkers would disagree.

  • HamsterCam||

    You have shared bathreooms in your office? How primative.

  • Bergholt Stuttley Johnson||

    Yeah, but the only way to really disprove the allegations is to get your poops certified by the European Fecal Standards Institute.

  • Death Panelist||

    It shan't be long before the Republican Party drives those independents away once again.

  • Chestnut||

    What, no Russ Meyer photo-cum-alt text?

  • Ran / Si Vis Pacem||

    Nick,
    These polls confuse "Moderates" with Classical Liberals - Libertarians, if indeed they count them at all. As such, they don't tell us what's really happening. Even the category "Moderate" is specious and misleading.

    What I'm saying is that Libertarians have made HUGE gains in the marketplace if ideas that are being avoided by these polls. I don't know if it's deliberate, or if they're being blindsided by their own ignorance.

  • MJ||

    Yes, "moderate" could really mean practically anything. Most moderates could probably be identified as being some flavor of left or right but are A). too apathetic to identify strongly B) too scared of what other people think or C) too pretentious to identify themselves because they think that being above the fray is more righteous.

  • ben tej||

    I'm not sure how useful these polls are that ask people to define themselves on a spectrum of conservative --> liberal. Everybody has a different personal definition of the term and you end up getting groups of people lumped together who may not be all that much alike. For instance, I would have no clue whether to define myself as conservative, moderate, or liberal as it is all in the eye of the beholder. To a liberal, I'd be conservative, to a conservative I'd be a liberal and I'm not sure the term moderate (which suggests something in the middle) is that accurate for someone with a libertarian-leaning ideology.

    It'd be more useful to ask people their preferred policy on a quick list of polarizing issues (e.g., income taxation schemes, international role of the military, etc). This would give absolute categories that would provide a better picture of people's political leanings. I think the libertarian party has something like this, but as I recall the questions are framed so that the responses are binary (Y/N). I think it'd be more interesting to get them on a 5 point scale.

    My point being, I don't think this poll says much of anything besides how people prefer to view themselves, particularly that such a large group is self-defining with the nebulous term moderate.

  • HamsterCam||

    And yet Ed Schultz of the ED show tells us every day that the majority of Americans are Liberal Progressives. No way he'd be lying; he's from Minnesota.

  • @||

    'Tis puzzling, verily.
    Straws, meet Desperate Clutcher.

  • mike farmer||

    "I'm super wicked ultra liberal"

    No way!

  • BakedPenguin||

    And yet Ed Schultz of the ED show...

    The ED show? Are Cialis and Viagra sponsors?

  • guy in the back row||

    These polls are becoming difficult to understand because they are not exploring all the recent movements within the electorate.

    I see a business opportunity for a polling company to ask about authoritarian/individualist as well as conservative/liberal. The extra factor would make their projections more accurate for politicians.

  • Robert||

    For about a quarter century, the Times Mirror has done surveys of Americns using cluster analysis, allowing the groupings to be identified as they come. They don't identify one as specifically authoritarian or individualist, but certain groups they've identified have been more or less one or the other.

  • Colin||

    The problem with this type of poll is the definition of terms.

    What's the definition of "moderate"? Obama would probably call himself "moderate."

    Additionally, a relatively large percentage of "conservatives" voted for Obama. This would seem to me impossible. Their definition of "conservative" clearly must be different from mine.

  • JB||

    I'd rather have conservatives than the current bunch of socialists. Just listen to Barney Fuckbag talk about expanding government in every way possible.

  • Geotpf||

    "expanding government in every way possible"?

    Like legalizing MJ and online poker?

  • ||

    Oh, look, Nick Gillespie is whipping up discussion with -- wait for it -- another poll.

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