Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

July 30, 2010 11:57 PM

About the Political Parties

The following are the self-described Party identifications of Americans based on an average of results for WP/ABC, NYT/CBS, NBC/WSJ.

  • Democratic: 33%
  • Republican: 25%
  • Independent: 36%
Using the same surveys as above, here are how Americans describe themselves on the philosophical spectrum:

  • Liberal: 21%
  • Moderate: 38%
  • Conservative: 37%
49% say that the Democratic Party is too liberal, while 40% think the Republican Party is too conservative. 40% believe that both of the Parties are about right as opposed to being too liberal or too conservative. [Gallup]

There has been a semantic movement among some liberals to describe themselves as progressives. It turns out that a majority of Americans are unsure what the word means. Liberals are more likely to embrace it, while conservatives are likely to reject it. When compared to a profile of all adults, progressives are clearly more liberal and substantially less conservative.

Progressives National Adults
Conservatives 22% 42%
Moderates 32% 34%
Liberals 45% 22%

The NBC/WSJ survey shows 35% having positive feelings about the Democratic Party and 30% positive feelings about the Republican Party. There 44% negative feelings about the Democrats and 40% negative feelings about Republicans.

A recent Gallup survey recorded a 36% favorable rating for the Republican Party and a 43% favorable score for the Democratic Party.

There are few major questions on which the differences between the Democratic and Republican Parties are better illuminated than on the question of the role of government.

Across the country, 53% think the government is doing too much. This includes 81% of Republicans, 58% of Independents, and 29% of Democrats.

On the other hand, of the 39% who think the government should do more, 63% are Democrats, 32% Independents, and 13% Republicans. [Gallup]

Both Parties are rated negatively when measured by whether they "put country's interests ahead of political interests.”

Republican Party Democratic Party
Good Poor Good Poor
35% 61% 38% 58%
[Pew Research]

They are also rated negatively when it comes to "working with opposing Party to get things done."

Republican Party Democratic Party
Good Poor Good Poor
33% 61% 38% 56%
[Pew Research]

Over the last 6 years Hispanics have been increasingly identifying with the Democratic Party. In 2004 the spread was +22 points for Democrats. Today that spread is +26 points.

Democrats Republicans
2010 58% 22%
2009 50% 19%
2008 57% 22%
2006 50% 22%
2005 48% 24%
2004 49% 27%

Interestingly, Arizona's passage of its own immigration law has not changed the Congressional voting preferences of Hispanics or any other racial group. [Gallup]

The Tea Party may, as a practical matter, be an organizational effort by conservative Republicans who are otherwise dissatisfied with the direction of the Republican Party. Here is how Tea Party supporters identify themselves on the political spectrum

62% Conservative Republican
17% Moderate / liberal Republican
6% Pure Independent
5% Conservative Democrat
10% Moderate / liberal Democrat
55% Tea Partiers are male, compared to 45% in the adult population.

Three issues which, in the minds of Tea Party supporters, represent an extremely serious threat to future U.S. well-being are Federal government debt (61%), terrorism (51%), and the size and power of the Federal government (49%).

If the 2010 election were held now, 80% of Tea Partiers would vote for the Republican Congressional candidate in their District. Conservative Republicans would give 95% of their vote to the same candidate.

84% of Tea Partiers have an unfavorable view of Obama, as do 88% of conservative Republicans. 85% have an unfavorable view of Nancy Pelosi, as do 90% of conservative Republicans. [Gallup]

The NBC/WSJ survey also shows 34% positive and 31% negative ratings toward the Tea Party from the public at large.

Return to Home Page