Chart of the Day

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Gallup released a poll on Monday showing a slight blip in the number of Americans who identify themselves as conservatives.  Since this got a fair amount of attention, I figured it was time to update my chart of the Harris Poll version of this data, which goes back to the early 70s and consolidates the results from multiple polls throughout the year.

As you can see, nothing much has happened for the past three decades.  In the mid-70s a bunch of “not sure” respondents decided they were conservatives after all, and since then the numbers have remained remarkably steady: about 18% identify as liberals, 37% as conservatives, and 40% as moderates.  This hasn’t varied by more than three or four points since 1980.  The most recent Harris data is for 2008, and breaks down 18% liberal, 37% conservative, and 41% moderate, right in line with the historical averages.  It’s possible that something dramatic has happened since then, but Gallup aside, I wouldn’t count on it.  Ten bucks says Harris gets pretty much the same results when they consolidate all the 2009 data at the end of the year.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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