Social Liberals Equal Conservatives For The First Time In Poll History

| by Kathryn Schroeder

For the first time in Gallup poll history, the percentage of Americans who view themselves as liberal on social issues is equal to those who say they are socially conservative.

In the most recent Gallup poll of May 6-10, Americans were asked whether they considered themselves very conservative, conservative, moderate, liberal, or very liberal on social issues. Thirty-one percent find themselves socially liberal, and an equal amount of 31 percent socially conservative.

This is the first time conservatives have not outnumbered liberals in a Gallup poll, reports Politico.

Gallup first asked Americans to describe their views on social issues in 1999, and the question has been posed nearly every year since 2001. Over that time, a conservative viewpoint has been diminishing. This change may be seen in how Democrats' and Republicans' views are changing within their own party.

Fifty-three percent of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents describe their views on social issues as liberal. In 2005, the percentage of liberals was only 38 percent but has risen slightly each year since. Over history, Democrats were more inclined toward a moderate viewpoint than liberal.

For Republicans and Republican leaners, 53 percent identify themselves as conservative—the lowest percentage found in Gallup’s trend. The drop in conservative Republicans has resulted in an increase in moderate identification, to 34 percent, with those identifying as liberal remaining static with a multiple year average of around 10 percent.

When it comes to economic issues, conservatives still have the lead with 39 percent. A liberal viewpoint was given by 19 percent of respondents.

Sixty-four percent of Republicans have conservative views on economic issues, a decrease of 6 percent since 2014.

A moderate viewpoint remains the strongest for Democrats, with 45 percent, an increase of 2 percent since 2014. The liberal viewpoint by Democrats saw a decrease of 2 percent from 2014, with 33 percent.

There were 1,024 adults, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, surveyed via telephone for the poll. The margin of sampling error is plus-or-minus 4 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

Sources: Politico, Gallup

Photo Source: LaDawna Howard/Flickr, Will O'Neil/Flickr