The biggest missing story in politics: One year update
By Bruce Walker
August 25, 2008, just about one year ago, my article on those Battleground Polls which have routinely shown for many years that about sixty percent of Americans are "conservatives" – it stirred up quite a ruckus. If my analysis is right, then that would explain Democrat hysteria over the town hall meetings in America as the revelation that the Left is just a small minority of Americans who have insinuated themselves into the chokepoints of information, education, entertainment, and policy in American society.
Gallup, which has also polled the ideology of Americans, has presented the data in a much murkier way. While the Battleground Poll allows respondents six options – "very conservative," "somewhat conservative," "moderate," "unsure," "somewhat liberal," and "very liberal," the Gallup asks (or reveals) only whether respondents identify themselves as "conservative," "moderate," or "liberal." Nevertheless, three Gallup Polls this summer have shown just how profoundly conservative Americans are. On June 15, for example, Gallup revealed that conservatives are the largest ideological group in America: 40% of us call ourselves conservative, 35% of us call ourselves moderates, and 21% of us call ourselves liberal. Moreover, Gallup shows that since 1992 conservatives have become an increasingly larger share of America.
Then, on July 6, Gallup revealed that Democrats were becoming more conservative, independents were becoming more conservative, and Republicans were becoming dramatically more conservative (a whopping 58% of Republicans said that they had become more conservative in the last few years.) Viewed from every angle, both Gallup and the Battleground poll identify conservatives as the largest ideological group in America and a group that is growing fast.
The most fascinating poll, however, was revealed by Gallup on August 14. The impact appears deliberately downplayed by Gallup. The title of the article simply states that the conservative ideology prevails in the South. That is hardly news. Gallup also, erroneously interprets its own data by stating that conservatives outnumber liberals in almost every state. In fact, the data poll shows that in every state of the nation, conservatives outnumber liberals. (Did Bruce just say that? Yes, he did!)
In the People's Republic of Massachusetts, 30% of the respondents identified themselves as conservative and 29% identified themselves as liberals. In Bernie Sander's Vermont, 29% of the people call themselves conservative and 28% call themselves liberals. In Hawaii, conservatives outnumber liberals by five percentage points. This probably understates the percentage of conservatives. Being called a conservative in Massachusetts or Vermont is like being called a child molester, and the polling organization, Gallup, tilts clearly Left, not Right.
And consider these states in which the number of conservatives is ten percentage points or more than the number of liberals: Maryland (+10%), Illinois (+12%), Minnesota (+13%), Michigan (+15%), Wisconsin (+17%), Pennsylvania (+18%.) These states are considered very Blue states, but conservatives outnumber liberals in each state by a whopping margin.
Is there anywhere in America where liberals outnumber conservatives? Yes, in the District of Columbia liberals are 65% of the population and conservatives are 14%.
There is a big secret out there. One year ago, I called it "The Biggest Missing Story in Politics" – Battleground Polls, the most accurate and bipartisan polling group around, had been reporting in poll after poll for many years that just about 60% of Americans called themselves conservative – which might explain how Ronald Reagan got about 60% of the popular vote in 1984! Ed Goeas, after the election, looked at the data again, trying to probe deeper and find out what it meant (he did an excellent and fair job.) The result: America is a conservative nation.
Now Gallup has come up with three polls in three months which deal explicitly with the ideology of Americans which confirms everything I have been writing about the strong conservative character of our country. The Red State / Blue State map reflects a partisan divide in America, but not an ideological divide at all. If Red State means "conservative" and Blue State means "liberal," then guess what? The entire map of the United States, except for a peculiar tiny rectangle carved out of southern Maryland, is Red State. The Biggest Missing Story in Politics is still The Biggest Missing Story in Politics. What is it that Republicans don't get?
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