Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Pew: How Americans fall out politically

Lemme summarize this summary of a Pew Research survey of Americans' political leanings:
  • More Americans than in the past claim they are independent, but they're actually lying about it;
  • Those who call themselves politically moderate are more likely to be independent, but they're not really moderates -- 
    • "Being in the center of the ideological spectrum means only that a person has a mix of liberal and conservative values, not that they take moderate positions on all issues," and
    • Thus, the political middle "does not form a potentially coherent coalition around which some political entrepreneur might build a centrist party;"
  • Moderates are less politically active;
  • Ipso facto, those that do claim a party affiliation are more politically active, and they are more polarized than in years past;
  • More Americans nowadays are calling themselves liberal, and fewer conservative, even though a plurality still calls itself conservative.

So I don't often quote polls, since this blog is about the issues and my opinion, not public opinion.  But this data is significant because it shows that many Americans are either confused, or not entirely honest, about their political leanings.  

Anecdotally, in my own life, I have seen it often with so-called "Independents" who are really just Republicans or Democrats according to how they vote, yet they want to retain the self-myth that no party can contain their maverick political spirit.  Yeah, right.

By Dan Balz
July 5, 2014 | Washington Post

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