I thought it was interesting the make up of the different parties. Republicans are predominantly conservative. While among Democrats moderates hold a slight plurality with 39 percent to 37 percent for liberals and 21 percent for conservatives. Of course, what one means by a liberal, moderate and conservative is important. Looking at the political leadership of the Democrat party, liberals are definitely in control.
The poll also looked at adults' views on different issues. There was movement across the board in favor of less government, less supportive of unions, more supportive of second amendment rights, more pro-life, supportive of promoting "traditional values", and less supportive of global warming.
Of course, the big question is how these attitudes will affect political decisions. I wouldn't be surprised if liberals in Congress try to jam through more liberal policies while they have majorities in Congress even if that means some of their more moderate to conservative Democrats lose in 2010.
Americans Also Moving Right on Some Issues
In addition to the increase in conservatism on this general ideology measure, Gallup finds higher percentages of Americans expressing conservative views on several specific issues in 2009 than in 2008.
- Perceptions that there is too much government regulation of business and industry jumped from 38% in September 2008 to 45% in September 2009.
- The percentage of Americans saying they would like to see labor unions have less influence in the country rose from 32% in August 2008 to a record-high 42% in August 2009.
- Public support for keeping the laws governing the sale of firearms the same or making them less strict rose from 49% in October 2008 to 55% in October 2009, also a record high. (The percentage saying the laws should become more strict -- the traditionally liberal position -- fell from 49% to 44%.)
- The percentage of Americans favoring a decrease in immigration rose from 39% in June/July 2008 to 50% in July 2009.
- The propensity to want the government to "promote traditional values" -- as opposed to "not favor any particular set of values" -- rose from 48% in 2008 to 53% in 2009. Current support for promoting traditional values is the highest seen in five years.
- The percentage of Americans who consider themselves "pro-life" on abortion rose from 44% in May 2008 to 51% in May 2009, and remained at a slightly elevated 47% in July 2009.
- Americans' belief that the global warming problem is "exaggerated" in the news rose from 35% in March 2008 to 41% in March 2009.