Author Topic: Poll: Conservative edge shrinking  (Read 438 times)

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Offline mystery-ak

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Poll: Conservative edge shrinking
« on: May 28, 2014, 08:15:39 AM »
http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=BCC54E3D-0E80-4AB2-B467-F9684DC4A52E

 Poll: Conservative edge shrinking
By: Jonathan Topaz
May 28, 2014 06:36 AM EDT

The conservative advantage on social and economic issues is shrinking, a new poll says.

According to a Gallup poll on Wednesday, more Americans still identify as conservative than as liberal in those two areas, but the gaps between conservatives and liberals are the smallest they have been since the polling firm began tracking the question 14 years ago.

Thirty-four percent of those surveyed say they are conservative on social issues, compared with 30 percent who say they are liberal, but the 4-percentage-point gap is continuing to shrink, decreasing by 1 point since 2013 and 6 points since 2012.

The conservative edge on economic issues has declined from 31 points in 2010 to 21 points in the most recent survey.

The closing gaps in both areas largely come from registered Democrats increasingly identifying themselves as liberal on social and economic issues.

“Conservatism is still the dominant ideology in the U.S. when Americans are asked to describe their political views overall and when asked about their views on economic and social issues separately,” Gallup wrote in its analysis. “However, the conservative advantages are shrinking, in large part because of Democrats’ increasing likelihood of describing their views as liberal rather than conservative or moderate.”

Gallup added, “With the conservative advantage on social issues down to four points, it is possible in the next few years there will be more Americans describing themselves as socially liberal than as socially conservative. This movement is consistent with trends Gallup has seen on specific issues, perhaps most notably Americans’ views toward gay rights and legalizing marijuana.”

The Gallup annual Values and Beliefs poll was conducted May 8-11 with 1,028 adults on landlines and cellphones. The margin for error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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Offline MACVSOG68

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Re: Poll: Conservative edge shrinking
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2014, 08:47:50 AM »
Probably a lot of reasons for this, not the least of which is the media.  How often do you hear the terms "liberal" or "progressive" used in a story?  How often do you hear the term "conservative" in a story.  Obviously with the former, almost never.  With the term "conservative", just about every time the media runs a negative story.

But the growth of the tea party movement has also pushed some away as it grabbed onto the term "conservative" redefining it to fit whatever issue and candidate it might lock on to.  Again the media always being the helpful lot they are managed to never miss a chance to point out some of the screwballs from the new "conservative" movement.

But the pendulum will swing back again, hopefully a little less widely than in recent times. 
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Offline speekinout

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Re: Poll: Conservative edge shrinking
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2014, 08:15:23 PM »
One reason for this is that many of the people who live as social conservatives are also small gov't people. Many of the poll questions don't distinguish between what people do in their own lives and what they think gov't should impose on everyone. The common perception (and, yes, you can blame it on the msm) is that the Tea Party wants to impose their values on everyone. But while most of the country still lives as conservative, they don't want to vote for a gov't that imposes that choice, or any other.

Offline Fishrrman

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Re: Poll: Conservative edge shrinking
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2014, 09:54:55 PM »
The cold reality here is that the numbers of "conservative-minded" folk in the country is shrinking, and that the number of those who either describe themselves as "liberal", or who cloak themselves under the moniker of "independent" but -act- liberal regardless, is growing.

Certainly this is so amongst the young.
Anyone in this forum who tries to paint the picture otherwise is just foolin' themselves.

As the percentage of Euro-Americans decreases and that of non-Euro-Americans grows, the leftward-shift may accelerate into a plunge.

I'm a realist, and I see this.
But the $64 question is, what can be done about it?

I see two possible courses for the long-term future:
1. Conservative folk are destined to become a permanent minority in a liberal-majority land, and they're going to have to accept the consequences of that reality, including the increasing demonization of themselves by the left-leaning government,
or....
2. If conservatives DON'T want future #1, they're going to have to force the issue by splitting the existing nation into two or more new nations, at least one (or more) of them re-designed "from the Constitution up" to be a conservative nation for those who support and believe in traditional Euro-American values.

You'll laugh at me and the usual suspects will chime in with "there he goes again, trying to tie conservatism to old and meaningless social and cultural issues".

Well, fine. Say what you wish.

But I'm reminded of the comments of James Madison, primary author of the Constitution, about the government the Founders laid out for us:
"[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion...
Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

As the country and culture crumble around us, isn't it amazin' how so many, some even here, turn their heads and plug their ears at such a statement ???

Offline MACVSOG68

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Re: Poll: Conservative edge shrinking
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2014, 10:19:06 PM »
It was actually John Adams, but I don't believe he thought morality and religion were necessarily the same, though he was a very religious man (more so than some of his peers).  Why would the Founding Fathers have been so concerned with ensuring religious freedom in the very first amendment, if that freedom didn't inherently include freedom not to believe as well?  I don't believe religions are a necessary component of a constitution, but I do believe that morality is.
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Offline Oceander

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Re: Poll: Conservative edge shrinking
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2014, 10:22:36 PM »
It was actually John Adams, but I don't believe he thought morality and religion were necessarily the same, though he was a very religious man (more so than some of his peers).  Why would the Founding Fathers have been so concerned with ensuring religious freedom in the very first amendment, if that freedom didn't inherently include freedom not to believe as well?  I don't believe religions are a necessary component of a constitution, but I do believe that morality is.

I agree with respect to the Founders' intent - I don't think it could have been put much clearer than it was/is in the First Amendment.

Question for debate tho':  where does morality come from if not from religion?

Offline MACVSOG68

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Re: Poll: Conservative edge shrinking
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2014, 10:41:35 PM »
I agree with respect to the Founders' intent - I don't think it could have been put much clearer than it was/is in the First Amendment.

Question for debate tho':  where does morality come from if not from religion?

I remember a debate on that very point years ago on FR.  Some of us took the position that morality (which includes many aspects) and a need for moral conduct may have inspired the first religions, rather than the other way around.  But the main point of contention was that those who linked the two argued that without belief in an afterlife, why be moral?  I say why not?  Isn't it one of the aspects of a civilized society? 

Are atheists immoral by virtue of their non-beliefs?  I don't think so.  If an animal takes care of its young, it's probably instinct.  As sentient beings though, we go much farther than that and care for others as well.  We think and we plan, reasoning our way into improved society.  Religion has certainly helped guide us, but is it essential?  Doubt it.

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Offline Oceander

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Re: Poll: Conservative edge shrinking
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2014, 10:52:01 PM »
I remember a debate on that very point years ago on FR.  Some of us took the position that morality (which includes many aspects) and a need for moral conduct may have inspired the first religions, rather than the other way around.  But the main point of contention was that those who linked the two argued that without belief in an afterlife, why be moral?  I say why not?  Isn't it one of the aspects of a civilized society? 

Are atheists immoral by virtue of their non-beliefs?  I don't think so.  If an animal takes care of its young, it's probably instinct.  As sentient beings though, we go much farther than that and care for others as well.  We think and we plan, reasoning our way into improved society.  Religion has certainly helped guide us, but is it essential?  Doubt it.



So morality, as such, is a survival mechanism?

Offline truth_seeker

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Re: Poll: Conservative edge shrinking
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2014, 11:18:55 PM »
So morality, as such, is a survival mechanism?
Some research has been performed to see if animals have a "morality" of sorts.

A chimp let another chimp out of a locked cage, to share the food. A rat did likewise.

They help each other. Strength in numbers. Don't kill your own.

So yes, perhaps "morality" is a "survival" aimed trait. Do right, and right may in turn, be done to you.


Offline MACVSOG68

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Re: Poll: Conservative edge shrinking
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2014, 08:32:35 AM »
Some research has been performed to see if animals have a "morality" of sorts.

A chimp let another chimp out of a locked cage, to share the food. A rat did likewise.

They help each other. Strength in numbers. Don't kill your own.

So yes, perhaps "morality" is a "survival" aimed trait. Do right, and right may in turn, be done to you.

I think this early stage "morality" is probably just as you described, keep the group alive and it will keep you alive.  I think higher level reasoning begets morality, or the ability to make moral choices, which the chimps and rats can't do...at least not yet.  But I don't believe that the chimps or us require a religious grounding to do good.  Maybe it's the difference between maintaining the species and improving it.  :pondering:
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