January 10, 2014, 08:55 am
Gallup: Liberal identification spikes
By Mario Trujillo
The number of self-identified liberals has increased to its highest level since Gallup began testing the question, according to a survey released Friday.
Twenty-three percent of people now identify themselves as liberal. That is a 6-point jump from 1992, when the polling firm first tested the subject.
Liberals continue to lag far behind self-identified conservatives and moderates, however.
Thirty-eight percent of people describe themselves as conservative, while 34 percent consider themselves moderate — the lowest level in Gallup polling.
The increase in liberal identification has come exclusively from Democrats. The number of Democrats who identify as liberals has steadily increased since the early 2000s. That number spiked in 2007 when Democrats took back control of both houses of Congress.
Currently, 43 percent of Democrats describe themselves as liberal, while 36 percent describe themselves as moderate. Only 19 percent call themselves conservative.
In the Republican Party, 70 percent describe themselves as conservative, a number that has remained steady over the last few years. Only 23 percent identify as moderate, while 5 percent call themselves liberal.
The survey follows one that showed the largest number of adults now identify themselves as independent.
“Americans' perceptions of their political views — if not the views themselves — are undergoing unmistakable change, contributing to greater political polarization in the country,” Gallup writes in an analysis accompanying the poll.
The survey was done throughout 2013 with 18,871 adults. It has a 1 percent margin of error.