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Chart of Pew typologies

If you just went by traditional media descriptions of the political battlefield, you’d think that most of the nation has coalesced into two unified and monolithic camps, indelibly red and blue, fighting over a small pool of swing voters to try to get to 50%+1. However, you’ve probably noticed firsthand that the Democratic Party is a “big tent” with a lot of conflicting elements. That’s clear not just from the comments here, where there’s often plenty of, um, robust disagreement, but also when you consider that there are many other parts of the Democratic coalition who may have even greater differences of opinion and who aren’t posting here.

Of course, we’re not alone in our fractiousness; the Republican Party has its own traditional rift between more fiscally oriented country-club Republicans and more red-meat-minded social conservatives, a rift that’s gotten scrambled by the rise of the ostensibly-financially-minded yet even fringier Tea Partiers. There’s also the question of independents, who get depicted in the media either, flatteringly, as sensible, vote-for-the-candidate-not-the-party moderates, or, unflatteringly, as ill-informed, easily manipulated ninnies who make snap decisions based on personality and their sense of their own pocketbook… but that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the diversity of the center.

A very extensive new poll released this week by the Pew Research Center looks deeper into these questions, and tries to categorize voters according to where they might fit within the larger coalitions. Pew breaks respondents down into nine different categories, each representing between 9% and 14% of the general public. Two are reliably Republican (Staunch Conservatives and Main Street Republicans), and three are reliably Democratic (Solid Liberals, Hard-Pressed Democrats, and New Coalition Democrats). Three are “mostly independent,” although Libertarians and Disaffecteds tend to lean right and Post-Moderns tend to lean left. Finally, there’s the category of Bystanders, who are the disengaged party of non-voters. (If you’re wondering where you fit in the scheme, you can take Pew’s typology test, although chances are pretty good that, if you’re reading this at Daily Kos, you’re already one of the 14% of the nation who’s a Solid Liberal.)

Chart of Pew typologies

Solid Liberals are largely white, and are also the best educated and one of the most affluent of all the typologies. While Solid Liberals have much in common with the other two Democratic groups, such as preferences for a diplomatic rather than aggressive foreign policy and a government that works to aid the poor, there are also key differences, stemming from Hard-Pressed Democrats and New Coalition Democrats being more religious and socially conservative. For instance, while 92% of Solid Liberals say that "Homosexuality should be accepted by society," only 49% of Hard-Pressed Democrats do and 43% of New Coalition Democrats do.

The differences between Hard-Pressed Democrats and New Coalition Democrats are a mix of race and age. Hard-Pressed Democrats skew older, and are a mix of whites and African-Americans. New Coalition Democrats are younger, and have a large Latino component. New Coalition Democrats seem more optimistic about institutions (not just government but business as well; only 38% of New Coalition Democrats say, "Business corporations make too much profit" as opposed to 79% of Hard-Pressed Democrats). Hard-Pressed Democrats take a much dimmer view of immigration (only 13% of them say, "Immigrants today strengthen our country," compared with 70% of New Coalition Democrats).

Pew has been doing Typologies for several decades, and this is their first revision since 2005. One of the most interesting changes is that they’ve retired their old "Conservative Democrats" typology and replaced it with "New Coalition Democrats," a sign of the changing face of the Democratic Party, one that’s younger, more urban, and more diverse. The old "Conservative Democrats"–predominantly older, rural New Dealers who are otherwise conservative–have become a smaller and smaller part of the coalition, as they’ve finally begun voting Republican or simply died; their dwindling is a large part of the fast red shift that’s occurred in the last decade along the Appalachian arc, from SW Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Arkansas and Tennessee. The remnants of this category seems to now be lumped in with the "Hard-Pressed Democrats."

Chart of Pew typologies
The diversity between the three typologies in the "independent" column is quite remarkable. Libertarians are an overwhelmingly male group (67%!) who are more educated and secular than either group in the Republican coalition; given their generally laissez-faire attitudes, they part ways with the Republican faithful both in terms of immigration (with 52% saying a growing number of newcomers strengthens us) and religion (71% say homosexuality should be accepted). With this gulf, they tend to self-identify as independent, even though their actual voting patterns aren’t much less reliably Republican than actual Republicans.

The Disaffecteds–the least educated typology that’s majority-white–may come the closest to the unfortunate stereotype of the "independent" as incoherently angry, with their conflicting disdain for government and demand for more government aid. 73% of Disaffecteds agree that "Government is almost always wasteful and inefficient," but 61% of Disaffecteds also say that "Government should do help need even if there’s more debt" (compared with only 10% of Libertarians and 27% of Post-Moderns).

The Post-Moderns are one of the most interesting groups; they tend to be younger and more diverse than the Libertarians or Disaffecteds, and accordingly, they tend to lean Democratic. These are voters who think of themselves as financially conservative (only 27% say the government should do more to help the needy) but socially very liberal (91% of them say that "homosexuality should be accepted by society," a number on par with Solid Liberals) and also very tolerant of government’s regulatory role (91% say, "the government should do whatever it takes to protect the environment").

Chart of Pew typologies

The Post-Moderns, unfortunately, are also the members of the Obama coalition that fell off the most from 2008 to 2010. In 2008, 65% of them voted for Obama, while 13% voted for McCain. In 2010, 17% voted for the Republican candidate, while 43% voted for the Democrat. That’s nearly a 20% gap in terms of those who didn’t vote! Contrast that with the Disaffecteds, who actively changed their minds. In 2008, the Disaffecteds broke 41% for McCain and 25% for Obama. In 2010, 50% voted for the Republican candidate, while only 12% voted for the Democrat. That’s only 6% who dropped out; the rest of the difference was switchers.

Similarly, further toward the poles, the Libertarians were characterized by switchers (53 to 14 for McCain in 2008, 63 to 9 for the Republican candidate in 2010), while the New Coalition Democrats, like the young and diverse Post-Moderns, also failed to show up (67 to 7 for Obama in 2008, 50 to 13 for the Democratic candidate in 2010). Contrast that with the actual poles, the Staunch Conservatives and Solid Liberals, whose numbers changed very little from 2008 to 2010. Add up the switchers and the droppers in all the middle categories, and you’ve got the mathematical explanation for what happened last November.

Finally, the Republican coalition is limited to two groups: the Staunch Conservatives and the Main Street Republicans. Pew points out that this is something of a realignment from previous decades; in 2005, there were three different GOP groups: the Enterprisers, the Social Conservatives, and the Pro-Government Conservatives. In the time since then, though, most of the once-populist Social Conservatives seem to have accepted the Enterprisers’ nostrums about the economy and are now just as devoted to free market ideology. This merger seems to give rise to the newly unified "Staunch Conservatives." The Main Street Republicans aren’t really that different, but are at least a little less deferential to big business: 58% of them say, "Business corporations make too much profit," compared with only 13% of Staunch Conservatives agreeing.

Pew’s description of the Staunch Conservatives, though, is "Highly engaged Tea Party supporters." That’s probably true at this point, but I’m wondering if that doesn’t quite do justice to the rise of the teabaggers. While there’s always been some meddling from GOP elites in its creation (with Rick Santelli’s famous CNBC rant as its defining moment), the initial Tea Party seemed to be an odd coalition of the Libertarians and the Disaffecteds, the GOP-leaning independents, rather than something that came from within the Republican coalition. That would tend to explain its incoherence and odd grab bag of action items at first–a mix of cold-blooded Randism/Paulism and inchoate populist anger.

Once Beltway astoturfers saw that there actually was something going on there and started pouring in resources, it seems like only then the Staunch Conservatives started piling onboard, adding more anger to fuel it as an electoral force but, from a policy standpoint, broadening it to the point where there wasn’t anything left to distinguish it from the movement conservative agenda as a whole, just with cool new branding. But the roots of that independent/Republican division in its birth still seems to linger on below-the-surface in leadership struggles within the Tea Party movement, such as the weird internecine spats between the astroturf-flavored Tea Party Express and the fringier Tea Party Patriots.

There’s a remarkable amount of detailed data in Pew’s report, and I encourage anyone interested in demographics, political trendspotting, or just making sense of who the hell we are as a country, to read the whole report. What other observations strike you as interesting? What changes to the categories (or alternate categories altogether) might you suggest? And, of course, don’t hesitate to share how you scored on the Typology Quiz yourself.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think I'm a post-modern. (15+ / 0-)

    You should have a poll with this, to see where Dkos readers fall.

    You might be surprised.

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:07:19 AM PDT

    •  Nope. (5+ / 0-)

      Just took the quiz.

      I graded out as a Solid Liberal.


      Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

      by Bush Bites on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:26:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  selection bias maybe? (14+ / 0-)

        Compared to the DKos population you feel like a post-modern but compared to the American population you're a solid liberal?

        •  that's what I think (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bythesea, wishingwell, Siri, Matt Z

          I think of myself as a hard pressed Democrat but scored as solid liberal. In a way it didn't surprise me, considering the questions asked.

          A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

          by dougymi on Sun May 08, 2011 at 09:04:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Good Idea Not to Over-interpret (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus, ferg, wmc418, Matt Z, Seneca Doane

          No one's life is going to be gleaned from answers to a few simple political questions regarding outlook.  No doubt if it had been published in Spanish or Chinese, it would have elicited a different response without changing the content whatsoever.

          The point here in general that there are dimension to human behavior that can be predictive, but the question is how predictive and what can we learn from them.  Its useful to think not only of the dimensions measured, but also the weighting employed.

          Progressives need to develop their own such tests, that will provide progressives with better insights into how best to appeal to the other groups.  I would suggest an all out effort to improve public education in all areas, but especially in science and mathematics.  The more educated we can get those moving into the solidly liberal group (already the highest educated) the more likely we will see both social, political, and economic progress for the many, as opposed to the usual cast of corporate and religious characters.

          •  It already exists (4+ / 0-)


            The axes are authoritarian v. libertarian and right v. left.  Many Kossites have taken it.  If you look at the 2008 Presidential election, you see that the mainstream candidates are all in the same quadrant, although Obama is closest to the midpoint.

            The PEW instrument treats the upper right quadrant as the whole univers.

            •  Every axis there has a libertarian bent (0+ / 0-)

              So, politicalcompass, IMO is biased towards that result unless you are an extreme authoritarian or something. It will always rate you as having some sort of libertarian belief. And though I do think there's a social type of libertarian that tends to be a bit left leaning and a business / small govt. type that runs the other way in both instances they tend towards small numbers of people at the fringes. Which, at this time in history, makes the whole libertarian thing fairly limited overall other than some vocal tea-partiers. I've seen better quizzes than that.

              Althogh I would say if you answered a political quiz with less than 100 wide ranging questions or so, the results you get will be be at best a general guide at best. Based on someones idea of what a liberal or a conservative is.

          •  I much prefer this test based on Lakoff's typology (0+ / 0-)

            This test only has 16 questions and does a pretty good job of predicting where people stand on two scales: hierarchical moral order (authority) versus a flat moral order (equality) and moral rules (collective first versus individual first).

            I especially like how ideologies fit on this grid.

            Though based on linguist George Lakoff's analysis, the creators of this test/analysis are much more conservative/libertarian than he is (or I am). I don't completely agree with their choice of questions or their analysis, but I think a test similar to this would be really useful to progressives to sort out people's understanding of the world and to give us ideas about how to change things.

        •  Strange - I'm solid liberal as well (0+ / 0-)

          But everyone around here keeps calling me a Red Stater.

          Thought I was post-modern or disaffected.  Guess I'm just a grumpy hippy.

      •  Most of those questions were ridiculous (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wmc418, Matt Z

        They couldn't have been any less nuanced, I don't see how they can claim any meaningful data is produced from it.

  •  Thanks for this...I've been discussing it in class (17+ / 0-)

    with my HS kids.  We took the test as a class and came up with "Postmodern" each time (I'm solidly liberal).

    There is a lot to chew on here, but the one that stuck out to me was the statement about "does your elected official care what people like me think?" was very negative across the board.  

    That's just sad.  

    "I read a book one day and my whole life was changed." Orhan Pamuk, The New Life

    by dizzydean on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:08:00 AM PDT

    •  Are your students mostly (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, Siri, dizzydean, Matt Z

      the kids of well-to-do solid liberals?

      Do you teach in a suburban area?

      "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

      by Andrew C White on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:43:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My hunch on the (11+ / 0-)

        postmodern category is that, in addition to "the kids of well-do-do solid liberals," it is just as likely to contain large numbers of the kids of well-to-do conservatives.  I teach at a wealthy private university at which the parents are overwhelmingly Republican.  However, I would put the modal student into the postmodern category.  They inherited their parents' economic conservatism, but are generally liberal on social issues.

        Really? A trendy expression of befuddled incredulity? Really?

        by cardinal on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:56:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I teach in downtown Philly, but (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Andrew C White, Matt Z

        my students are from the mostly well-to-do suburbs.  Their parents vary, but there's quite a few whose families are pretty staunch conservatives.  

        "I read a book one day and my whole life was changed." Orhan Pamuk, The New Life

        by dizzydean on Sun May 08, 2011 at 10:22:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dizzydean, Matt Z

          I guess the question would be whether the kids of conservatives follow the path of being liberal while young and growing more conservative with age.

          I also wonder if there is a point at which it is possible to lock them in their early liberal viewpoints (and a method for doing that).  

          "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

          by Andrew C White on Sun May 08, 2011 at 10:27:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We actually have a term for's (6+ / 0-)

            called political socialization.  Most students who are under 20 tend to adopt the political views of their parents.  However, generationally, many young people will part ways on issues that their peers as a whole reject.  

            For example, young people today are much less religious than previous generations and have grown up in a period where the message about homosexuality is one of acceptance, therefore, they are much more likely to either support or be ambivalent to the issue of gay marriage than their parents.

            I think the old canard of "liberal while young and conservative when older" went out the window a long time ago, if it was ever true.  

            My own theory is that many conservatives in America are not ideological in the sense that they have spent the time to do the heavy lifting of sorting through the philosophies of what it means to be a conservative, from economic theory to the social issues.  Rather, I think that most are conservative because of their socio-economic status, their religious beliefs or their gut reaction to things.  

            According to a separate Pew study, conservatives are more likely to want to live in areas where others share their views.  Also, the conservative echo chamber provides additional comfort and reassurance through repeating back to conservatives what they already believe.  

            The trick is to burst the bubble while they are young and still willing to listen to views other than those they were raised with.  For example, in the area of climate change, every science teacher who does not spend some time showing students the realities of the science is doing a disservice to the future.  Any govt/civics teacher who does not show students what being poor is really like will allow the old stereotypes of the "welfare queen' to be perpetuated.

            "I read a book one day and my whole life was changed." Orhan Pamuk, The New Life

            by dizzydean on Sun May 08, 2011 at 10:50:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't buy the liberal then conservative canard (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dizzydean, wmc418

              either. I guess I should have expanded that statement a bit to more clearly state what I had in mind. What I was thinking was more along the lines of following in their parents footsteps. They are our primary teachers after all. So for a portion of young people from conservative families the path of being more liberal... which I think really means simply more open minded and accepting... when young and more conservative... meaning more close minded... when older is real. For the rest of us, not so much.

              So my question really is that for those portions of the young post moderns whose family backgrounds are conservative are we looking at a demographic that will grow less open minded and accepting, and therefore more socially conservative, over time? Or are we looking at a changing demographic that bodes well for a more progressive nation over time?

              The example of homosexuality is a very good one and points to the latter more than the former but I am less sure how broad that change spreads over other issues.


              "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

              by Andrew C White on Sun May 08, 2011 at 11:21:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  In re: attitudes towards elected officials (11+ / 0-)

      there was another report that showed the dramatic drop-off of trust in government and elected officials over the last 40-50 years. I don't recall at the moment who put it out, may have been Pew or perhaps Gallup, but it the high trust that existed into the 60's and the clear drop-off every decade since until we reach today where no one trusts or believes in government or integrity in their elected officials.

      "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

      by Andrew C White on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:45:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Watergate was a huge point in which (7+ / 0-)

        that feeling of not trusting elected public officials really gained steam.  

        My dad used to talk about that all of the time. He said people were starting to lose trust in government and elected officials before Watergate but not to a great degree. After Watergate, it seemed to be full steam ahead.

        •  Yup (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          majcmb1, dizzydean

          Watergate and Vietnam followed by Reagan and down hill from there.

          "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

          by Andrew C White on Sun May 08, 2011 at 09:45:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'd agree with that, but also think (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Andrew C White, ferg

          the combination of House reps having districts which are MUCH too big to state reps who are hoping that voter apathy/ignorance will get them reelected every year makes for a witch's brew.  

          I wonder how many Kossack have actually met their House rep?  I never have.  He's never been to my neighborhood.  Never had a town hall close by.  

          My state reps only show up around election time.  Otherwise there's no two-way contact.

          "I read a book one day and my whole life was changed." Orhan Pamuk, The New Life

          by dizzydean on Sun May 08, 2011 at 10:26:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm so lucky (0+ / 0-)

            Barbara Lee is my representative and she comes around regularly -- she holds town halls all over her district on the environment, the wars that are going on, immigration, Medicare, etc., etc., etc.  Best rep in the House!

            The central message of Buddhism is not "Every man for himself." -- Wanda

            by the autonomist on Sun May 08, 2011 at 11:46:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I have met my Rep and I live in a small (0+ / 0-)

            town. I also went to a townhall. But unfortunately he was defeated this last time around.  He was in my town for a townhall and in 2006 when he  ran the first time around. He had Max Cleland campaigning with him and I got to meet him which was wonderful.

            Sadly my rep was defeated by a corrupt Republican with a history of shady deals.  Sadly my district is rather conservative and it is very hard for a Democrat to get elected for more than 2 terms if that.

    •  That's just sad. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      No thats just reality and a wake up call to change that.  The good thing is that with regard to that question, there seems to be a solid majority.  Lets put it to work for solidly liberal ideas.

      Way too many republicans and corporate democrats out there now.

  •  Thanks nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Siri, Matt Z

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear and loathing.

    by a2nite on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:11:21 AM PDT

  •  only 38% of New Coalition Democrats..... (17+ / 0-)

    only 38% of New Coalition Democrats say, "Business corporations make too much profit" as opposed to 79% of Hard-Pressed Democrats).

    Interesting how age shakes out in these groups....well, when the young ones age, they will realize how business really works.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:14:54 AM PDT

    •  That is an interesting data point (8+ / 0-)

      and one I have been chewing on in my head.

      The New Coalition group isn't defined by its age so much as by its racial diversity and highlighted by its high proportion of first and second generation immigrants. They tend to be as poor as the hard pressed democrats but far more optimistic. There is a clear difference in expectations and I suspect that has to do with the high proportion of immigrants. I'm guessing for a lot of them that their relatively poor status in America is still an improvement over where they came from and that therefore the belief in "the American Dream" is strong while the hard pressed Democrats I think have a large proportion of the old working class Democrats whose way of life has disappeared over the last several decades and whose outlook therefore is considerably bleaker, heading down not up, and whose view of business is therefore also considerably more jaded.

      "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

      by Andrew C White on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:49:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm guessing that in a generation or two a lot of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z

        New Coalition Democrats will be Main Street Republicans.  Once they make it they will forget whence they came, much like "country club Irish" and other immigrant groups in the past have moved on.

        Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

        by ratcityreprobate on Sun May 08, 2011 at 10:18:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I scored "Solid Liberal".... (9+ / 0-)

      and I disagreed with that statement.  I don't have any problem with businesses maximizing their profits.  I do believe that corporations should pay their fair share in taxes and that some industries, like heath care, should not be profit driven at all.

  •  From what I see on the rec list (14+ / 0-)

    and comments various places here I'd think most Kossaks or "the professional left" as it's called wouldn't be solidly liberal. More likely post moderns.

    I'm old school and solidly liberal.

    Saw this on Pew this morning and spent quite a while reading.

    "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

    by ban nock on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:15:43 AM PDT

  •  I came out as a solid liberal, (40+ / 0-)

    but I am seen as too conservative and accommodating by some folks here. We are only 14% of the population. IMHO, it is time to stop fighting with each other and to organize to win in 2012.

  •  Uphill Fight To Create Progressive Consensus (18+ / 0-)

    You can see that the anti-gummint conservative meme is there among the independent post-moderns and disaffecteds, even though their views are conflicted.  To me reality has shown how bankrupt the conservative anti-gummint views are.  Somehow these two groups don't get it.

    •  They don't get it (13+ / 0-)

      Because they are hammered on a daily basis by the corporate media (not just FOX) that gummint doesn't work. It's reinforced by rethugs whose sole purpose is to sabotage good government. Thus, the postmoderns turn to the corporate (plutocratic/feudalist) model

      Catch St. Louis' progressive talk show, The Murdock Report, every Tuesday @ noon! Stream or download it: I do the twit thing too @Smokin'JoeWGNU Remember, there's nothing free about Free Markets!

      by Da Rat Bastid on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:23:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually I think there is a clear path (6+ / 0-)

      to a progressive consensus.

      I saw it in the 2005 report and it is clear to see again in this one.

      The problem is control of the propaganda air waves. There is a clear and strong effort to sell the other sides bullshit and no apparent coherent plan in place for promoting what the people want which is what our side just happens to offer (mostly).

      "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

      by Andrew C White on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:59:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thats for sure. The Key is Public Education! (4+ / 0-)

      Liberals need to do a much better job at dominating the internet and social conversation in a way that leads to more education.  It needs a broad array of new websites, more integrated, more socially aware programming, and new  approaches then tend to educate and move thinking leftward.  Its not enough for us to be talking to ourselves, we have to find a way to talk to others and clearly arguing with morons, with financial and ideological agendas isn't working.

      Liberals need to spend less time obsessing with rightwing "issues" and focus on education as the key to a healthier society.  This doesn't mean ignoring the dangers of the modern right, but focusing instead on solutions rather than falling into the trap of engaging them on meaningless issues that are only meant to further divide.

      The key factor s that Liberal Democrats are the most educated.  By pushing education in its broadest sense, democrats can make inroads into the uneducated and less well groups, particularly if they direct their attention to the younger and more progressive minded and to young adults, who will grow up to see the world differently if they are educated rather than not educated.

      It seems modern times puts kids between junior high and high school in a quandary.  Either they can mature quickly enough to see the importance of education, if their parents haven't already instilled this in them, or not.  For those that do not, they have a few paths, which selection channels them toward.  They can remain disconnected and simply bounce through life as events unfold.  Seek to follow in one of several authoritarian models to fit in (religious, hate group politics, or doctrinaire conservatism, libertarianism), or they can reach for self help.  It is the latter segment we need to reach primarily, as well as a segment of the second group that might only going in that direction from parental inclinations, lack of alternatives, etc.

      Keeping a stronger focus upon looking at the world through  science and technology is a very good way to start as 1) it has intrinsic interest 2) it is not overtly political, 3) provides an alternative way to focus interest in other topics not seemingly science related, such as history, economics, politics, sociology, etc, 4) it appeals to thinking rather than reactionary emotionalism, 5) it provides skills that are more than likely to lead to further education and hence more mature political thinking.

      Too much of the focus is on entertainment, rather than education.  You can easily see this, even in supposedly liberal sites such as Huffington Post, where typically more than half of their stories are focused on the banal and the celebrity aspects of issues, to the extent real issues even get discussed.

      It is not a surprise that the right seeks to privatize public education, so that only the well off are educated.  It serves their political agenda, as well as their routine efforts to channel public monies into their pockets.  We will loose this battle if we loose the fight for improvements in public education.

      •  best comment I've seen in a while (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I would add that there is a common thread among all the groups in between disaffected and hard-pressed dems.   Because of the lack of a knowledge base, individuals in these groups view Democrats and Republicans as the same thing: loud liars.  

        For progressives to stand out, we need to avoid ad hominem attacks on even the most ridiculous conservatives, and instead, stick to education on policy.  It's tempting to emulate Jon Stewart and point out the absurd levels of hypocrisy on the other side, but that isn't a winning strategy.  In fact, in plays in to Fox's just-throw-random-"facts"-out-there strategy.  Truths seem less true in a world where truthiness is so prevalent.  

        Focus on informing people of the numbers, and the actual policy choices, and we win over almost all of the middle groups.    

  •  Funny (23+ / 0-)

    This test marked me as "solidly liberal".  A similar test by Canadian standards had me moderate to moderately left on both social and fiscal issues.  It doesn't take much to be a flaming leftist in American politics.

  •  Interestingly, members of the Democratic (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shrike, Sarea, bythesea

    coalition are considerably more likely to support free trade.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:22:44 AM PDT

  •  I have a new name tag (6+ / 0-)

     I knew I wasn't true blood Democrat or Republican since I
    never get angry, or name call over someones
    difference in political opinion.
     According to the poll I am post modern along with 13%
    of the population.
     I wonder if most post moderns are invited to
    get togethers  from either party?  I've never been
    in a fight, or a nasty argument,when attending a party with hosts from the left or the right.

    •  I scored Post Modern as well - the environment (6+ / 0-)

      and financial regulations are very important to me - also extremely liberal on all social issues.

      Interesting they decided not to score pro-choice - it may have helped splinter us into other factions.  

      "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

      by shrike on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:31:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Questions for both you and shrike (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, RandomNonviolence

      and anyone else that scored post-modern.

      How would you categorize your parents? Which typology group?

      Where did you grow up? Urban, suburban, rural?

      What economic class? Upper middle class? Middle class? Working class? Something else?

      How educated is most of your family? All college graduates? Some? None?

      You don't have to answer of course but I am really interested in understanding these typology groups better and how they fit into the American experience.




      "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

      by Andrew C White on Sun May 08, 2011 at 09:06:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am an Air Force brat who traveled the world (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell, Andrew C White, Odysseus

        and pulled in a college degree and work professionally.

        My parents were uneducated rural though so my dad jumping around all over the place pulled me out of the rural treadmill.

        "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

        by shrike on Sun May 08, 2011 at 09:17:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I am military brat (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Andrew C White, shrike, Odysseus

         My Dad was very conservative and Navy Pilot. He was only one in his aviator class that hadn't been to college. He joined Marines day after he graduated High School when 17, later switched to Navy flight school.  Grandfather also Marine. My Dad was not interested at all  in religion, though my Mom went to Church in my youth.

         My Mom was very liberal though not interested in politics, other than loving Americas freedoms.  I learned  "respect and try to get along with everyone" from both my Mom and Dad.
         I consider my up bringing middle class, though  frugal.
         No designer clothes or fancy foods allowed.
         My Mom could not  speak English very well when I was young.
        I was born at Military base.
         Grew up combination suburban and rural.
         I was first one in my family that attended any college other than my fathers brother.
         My Uncle joined Air Force after college and then the CIA.
         My Uncle was very liberal.  

  •  This refutes the idea (6+ / 0-)

    often expressed by the President's most ardent adherents, that if "liberals" would just shut up, everything would be hunky dory in Obama-land.

    Money=speech; every dollar has a right to be heard. The Supremes

    by orson on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:24:39 AM PDT

    •  I'm pretty sure Obama would be "solid liberal" (9+ / 0-)

      ....on this test, so maybe not.

      Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

      by Bush Bites on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:36:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ok, I'll bite. . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Andrew C White, happymisanthropy

      How so?

      Really? A trendy expression of befuddled incredulity? Really?

      by cardinal on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:48:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  First I highly recommend reading (6+ / 0-)

        the entire report. It is packed full of solid information about American political demographics. I recommend going back and reading the 2005 report as well.

        I don't know what the original poster is specifically commenting on but the report shows clearly that the most hard core base of both the Democratic Party and Obama's supporters are the Solid Liberals.

        It is the other Democratic, Democratic leaners, and the voters he stole from the Republicans that dropped off in 2010 and caused the Republican landslide.



        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Sun May 08, 2011 at 09:10:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I did read it. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bythesea, Andrew C White, Matt Z

          And I teach with the 2005 report.

          The summary you gave -- which is consistent with my reading of it -- does not obviously suggest what the commenter said.  In fact, one could just as easily take the exact opposite implications from it: that Obama must tack to the center to gain the non Solid Liberal groups, since they swing elections and the Solid Liberals will always be there for him.  I'm not endorsing that view -- there are major problems with it as well -- but I was simply trying to figure out the inferential leap from the report to commenter's assertion that this self-evidently validates one half of the big meta spat here.

          Really? A trendy expression of befuddled incredulity? Really?

          by cardinal on Sun May 08, 2011 at 09:16:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The typical (and shallow) reading (5+ / 0-)

            of these reports of course is the one that says you must tack to the middle to gain votes.

            That is not how I read either of these two reports (I haven't read the older ones).

            Both reports showed a near majority amongst the 3-4 Democratic blocks alone.

            In my view (and experience)...

            In order to win a contentious election you must solidify and maximize your own voters first and then go after the people in the middle and the other sides voters.

            So... stick to democratic values and issues in order to maximize your own voters and then highlight those democratic issues that appeal to a significant portion of the middle and even the other sides voters... environmental issues being the most obvious example... and work to peal off enough of them to win.

            The shallow view says abandon your sides issues and talk like you are coming from the other side. That is a huge mistake in my view. You will lose a meaningful portion of your own voters while presenting a wishy-washy picture to those you are trying to persuade.

            Both these reports show significant support for democratic issues and positions amongst the middle and even the right.

            You don't need to convince them all... just a few percentage of them... as long as you maximize your own.


            p.s. as far as the commenter... I made the assumption they were seeing what I saw. I could be very  wrong.

            "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

            by Andrew C White on Sun May 08, 2011 at 09:56:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree with your (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Andrew C White, bythesea

              analysis.  It comports nicely as well with the accumulated polling that shows liberal majorities on most policy issues (as opposed to the vacuous ideological self-ID, for which conservatives always have a huge advantage).

              Still, I think it's tricky enough that both sides have a reasonable case.  On the one hand, as you said, we could have a stable electoral majority if we solidified our base.  On the other hand, a certain percentage of base voters are extremely hard to reach (and not because the candidates aren't liberal enough -- the voters are simply disaffected).  In the present alignment, elections are won and lost by centrist swing voters.  It would be great to change that somehow; but I don't know that there's an easy path to do so -- certainly not as easy as just fielding more liberal candidates.

              Really? A trendy expression of befuddled incredulity? Really?

              by cardinal on Sun May 08, 2011 at 10:07:04 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, I agree (5+ / 0-)

                and conservatives can build their case as well. In fact they are better at it. I think the Disaffected category being such a Republican-leaning one shows that clearly.

                The self-id stuff is mostly meaningless to me. The labels are meaningless given how much they have changed meaning over the years. They reflect the success of right wing propaganda more then anything else. I was disappointed at the one part of this report that talked about self-id without cross-checking it against actual position on issues.

                I'm going to disagree partially with one thing though. Elections are won and lost not just by centrist swing voters but equally by appeal to your own weak voters. I think the drop-off shown in New Coalition, Post-Modern and Hard-Pressed Democrats between 08 and 10 show how equally important appeal is. If we'd kept our own voters the loses in 2010 would have been minimal.

                Also, it's not so much a matter of fielding more liberal candidates as it is doing a better job of promoting and selling a solid, populist democratic agenda (which does happen to be a mostly liberal one as well). And this goes back to the shallow interpretation of what appealing to the center means. So many moderate Democrats think they have to talk like Republicans and repudiate their liberal brethren in order to win additional voters. They are trying to appeal to voters they'll never get and turn off voters they should be able to count on. Instead they need a better understanding of what issues appeal across a broader spectrum of voters then just the hard-core liberals. And this goes to what you are saying about the accumulating polling on broad based support for liberal positions on policy issues. Take the broad distrust of big business and the broad support of environment as examples. Also, the support for government assistance for those in need and, more pertinently to today's debates, support for Social Security and Medicare. I am very glad to see Democrats, mostly, getting it right on taking strong and winning stands there.

                "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

                by Andrew C White on Sun May 08, 2011 at 10:25:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Where's the inferential leap? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The argument is frequently put forward that liberal defections are a threat to the Obama presidency. These poll results paint a different picture.

            Money=speech; every dollar has a right to be heard. The Supremes

            by orson on Sun May 08, 2011 at 11:51:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  It also refutes the idea (5+ / 0-)

      That the 2010 electoral defeat was the result of liberals not showing up to vote. In fact it was the other components of the Democratic coalition that did not show up.

  •  Hasidic paper removes Hillary from Sit. Room pic. (13+ / 0-)

    As well as that lady in the back - think she's the Director of Something-Or-Another.

    Seriously guys - WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU???

    I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

    by punditician on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:26:37 AM PDT

  •  STILL can't find myself on a political (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sarea, Andrew C White, Odysseus, Matt Z



    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:27:46 AM PDT

    •  Did you take the test? (0+ / 0-)

      What parts of each of these do you see yourself as?

      The Pew Report has a nice small section in which they describe the clustering method they use to create the most prevalent typologies. By no means do they say this is all there is. And the typologies have changed report to report (they come out every 5 or 6 years) as the most prevalent clusters have changed.

      So its a matter of... what are you closest to?

      "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

      by Andrew C White on Sun May 08, 2011 at 09:14:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tested solid liberal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sarea, PBnJ

    But this is Pew. Today they're considered nonpartisan, but J Howard Pew was a hard core conservative active in the GOP for decades. Makes me slightly distrust them

    Catch St. Louis' progressive talk show, The Murdock Report, every Tuesday @ noon! Stream or download it: I do the twit thing too @Smokin'JoeWGNU Remember, there's nothing free about Free Markets!

    by Da Rat Bastid on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:31:50 AM PDT

  •  One solid lliberal (12+ / 0-)

    in her 70s, checking in.  Never expected to be labeled anything else!

  •  New Coalition Dems are 10% of the GenPub (5+ / 0-)

    but 23% of them are not registered to vote.  Tend to very religious and socially conservative and very pro-immigrant.

    Need to go get 'em.  Can probably bring them around on the social issues as about half of them are actively involved in charity work and with non-profits.

    Election-swinging demographic.

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:34:40 AM PDT

  •  Libertarians should be under Republican (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, esquimaux, Eric K, Matt Z
  •  Yuck. Pew typology sucks. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites, bythesea, Matt Z

    I categorize myself as a conservative, but Pew categorized me as a Libertarian, something I very clearly am not.

    I realize that it is hard to draw lines, and it may be a matter of libertarians vs libertarianism, but the Libertarians I have met tended to be rigid and brittle thinkers, unable to deal with the difference between philosophy and the realities of making a government work.  Hmmm. Kind of like progressives, I guess.

    Maybe it's just a problem of wanting to make groups.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:40:46 AM PDT

    •  The label is the (7+ / 0-)

      least interesting part of the report, since it's ultimately just an artificial name stuck on a group of citizens based on common ideology.  "Libertarians" as they name them might not overlap entirely with self-identified libertarians, which suggests that they should have chosen a better name.

      The important thing is to see what issues and attitudes cluster citizens into distinct-from-each-other but internally cohesive groups.

      Really? A trendy expression of befuddled incredulity? Really?

      by cardinal on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:47:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, esquimaux, bythesea, Matt Z

      I see myself as a post-modern, they see me as solid liberal, mainly because I don't want to throw poor people into the street.

      It has a conservative bias, I think.

      Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

      by Bush Bites on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:54:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  conservatives are objecting. (7+ / 0-)

      that means pew is onto something.

    •  Conservative as a label (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is practically meaningless. Most political labels these days when self-applied are. The meanings have changed so much over the years.

      So what you call conservative may well really be libertarian but not as "rigid and brittle" as some of the folks who claim that title for themselves.

      Pew provides a brief but interesting description of the clustering method they use to come up with the typologies. I highly recommend reading the full report.

      What I think you described above though is that you are libertarian in most of your beliefs but that you are more practical and pragmatist then the often hide-bound ideologues that make up the hard core libertarians. They do show up in the typology as one of the most ideologically driven of the groups.

      "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

      by Andrew C White on Sun May 08, 2011 at 09:27:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe it's just a problem of wanting to make group (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dopper0189, RandomNonviolence

      "Maybe it's just a problem of wanting to make groups."

      Well, sort of, but not exactly.  Its the difference in emphasis or what statisticians/mathematicians would call weighting that is placed upon the various variables (dimensions of the reality under discussion) that are used to form clusters.  You might think of this as the intersection of probability theory, measure theory and topology (the branch of mathematics that deals with fundamental concepts of relating mathematical structures within a "spatial" [as most generally defined] context).

      Understanding how the weights can be slightly changed to provide an entirely new topology (grouping) is the key to understanding where to apply the least amount of change to effect the greatest overall change/effect.  

      I believe that education is the key because it engages all the other groups in a way that leads toward progress rather than endless, but ineffective and ultimately self-defeating conflict.  Consequently, it is not surprising that extreme conservatives and extreme libertarians and extreme religious ideologues are doing all they can to destroy public education.  The less well educated, the more reactionary in nature the public becomes, which makes it a lot easier for wealthy corporate interests and the greedy to manipulate the system.

      Liberals and progressives need to develop better mechanisms for improving education, especially in science and mathematics.  These form a core around which the emotional appeals from the right can not displace, without wiping out civilization all together, not that some right-wing ideologues are not trying their best.

      We can do this in part, by doing more tutoring, helping to create educational websites, tools, scholarships, etc rather than so much time getting sucked into pointless debates on the red-meat divisiveness that is the staple of the conservative movement, not that the dangers posed by republicanism should be ignored.  

      We shouldn't be doing their PR for them for starters.  If they think they have a wining divisive issue, simply dismiss it and reframe the debate  toward a more positive one that seeks to educate those who can be reached while there is still time to do so.

  •  I've been waiting for this report (9+ / 0-)

    for a year. The 2005 report was very illuminating. I think this is one of the most important political polls/analysis to come out from anyone anywhere and highly recommend everyone reading it and thoroughly understanding it from the multiple angles it presents.

    One of the most interesting things I see, and hope to write on at some point, are the issues that Democrats mostly support that can be crafted into a strong and publicly proclaimed (and consistently held please) platform that not only garners the support of most all Democrats and Democratic-leaners but also cuts into the Republican base by providing a small but significant portion of their voters with reasons for considering and supporting Democrats instead.

    It's all right there in the report and was in the 2005 report as well.

    I'm still reading and re-reading the report in detail but the two categories of New Coalition Democrats and Post-Moderns intrigue me. I haven't quite figured the New Coalition folks out yet as there are some seemingly contradictory things going on there.

    The Post-Moderns strike me as being well-to-do suburban Liberals. They are the kids of liberals that moved to the suburbs. As such they hold very liberal views on virtually everything except economics where they are likely to be professionals that did not feel the pain of the Great Recession and in the on-going problems of minority and lower class life where their suburban upbringing has divorced them from any understanding of what those realities are really like.

    Ignore those two areas for a moment and they look just like the Solid Liberals. Hard core Liberal Democrats.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:41:42 AM PDT

    •  Did you really need the report... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Andrew C White, bythesea

      To find a unifying platform?  

      Isn't cutting oil subsidies and taxing the wealthiest polling at 80% or so among all Americans?  That seems like a big enough platform.

      Somehow, the highest marginal tax rate got up into the 90s in the last century while Democrats in congress were enjoying huge majorities.  

      Once the "Southern Strategy" republicans die off - and racism is clearly less prevalent among the young - Democrats should easily be able to harness the same nationwide coalition.

  •  According to the (4+ / 0-)

    write-up, they created the categories through a cluster analysis of various policy questions, plus Party ID.  Though I don't disagree with any aspect of the design, I'd be curious to see an alternative specification that excludes Party ID.  Would the groups still be as cohesive on their partisanship?  I suspect the answer is yes, which would be an interesting finding in its own right.

    Really? A trendy expression of befuddled incredulity? Really?

    by cardinal on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:42:53 AM PDT

  •  Solid Liberal Here (5+ / 0-)

    took the quiz.  I don't know why that surprised me.  I thought I might come out as an independant / moderate or a post-modern. Nope.  Solid Liberal across the board.

    Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain. -- Mark Twain

    by Sarea on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:42:57 AM PDT

  •  54% of electorate should be dem-leaning... (9+ / 0-)

    IF the Pew categorizations are accurate, 54% of registered voters SHOULD, on average, be democratic-leaning, whereas only 46% of registered voters should, on average, be gop-leaning.  To get the 54%, I've added: "solid liberals" (16%), hard-pressed democrats (15%), new coalition democrats (9%) and post-modern independents (14%).  Nevertheless, we all too often lose the actual voter commitment/turnout contest and wind up with elections like 2010, and our 54% isn't quite as well strategically distributed as we'd like, and we wind up with too many GOP-controlled state legislatures in supposedly blue-leaning states.

    •  We always have a problem with GOTV. (8+ / 0-)

      Add to that the Senate's and, hence, the government's rural bias, and you can see why a 4 percent advantage isn't anything to count on.

      Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

      by Bush Bites on Sun May 08, 2011 at 09:00:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes except for 2006 and 2008 especially (5+ / 0-)

        where our GOTV was amazing !!  I have been volunteering and actively involved in GOTV and Democratic poliitics for 34 years.   And I have never, ever seen a ground game and outreach like 2008.

        The Obama campaign of  2008 was comprehensive, well organized, meticulously run and not a stone was left unturned that we could see.

        I mean we were handing out brochures for delivery drivers and garbage collectors and to our neighbor's second cousin twice removed.  LOL!

        •  I second that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RandomNonviolence, Matt Z

          once of the Republicans big advantages is that they have a GOTV centered around the idea of being a conservative, we tend to form GOTV around candidates. Charismatic candidates like Obama or the Clintons do well but the GOP has the ability to have low level city managers run under the same mantra as their presidential candidate to a greater extent than Democrats do.

          I thought the Soros funded ACT in 2004 was a great start, but since it didn't work as well as people thought it would, it got defunded. Instead we need a group like that that will stick around at least 3 election cycles, so it can grow and learn. It's about a $75-90 million dollar investment. Big money but not out of the realm of possibility.

          The best thing liberals can do is convince the staunchly liberal Warren Buffet to give 10% of his wealth to an effort like this instead of just to the non-partisan Gates foundation. The Gates foundation aid to public education is great stuff, but any money it can give away pales in comparison  to what local tax collection are.

          -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

          by dopper0189 on Sun May 08, 2011 at 11:32:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Deeply flawed poll (17+ / 0-)

    1. Neither diplomacy nor the military will bring us peace; confronting and dismantling imperialism will.  900 bases abroad?  They're protecting corporations, not Americans.
    2. Poverty?  The problem is not that government payments are too low, which is true, but not germane; it's that the game is rigged to create plutocrats and destroy the middle class.  And both parties are bought; Repukes of course being worse.
    3. I am neither religious nor anti-religious; spirituality is important to me - not religion.  
    4. Some businesses - Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Pharma, Big Oil - make too much profit.  They are thieves.  Many businesses don't.  And the issue isn't too much profit.  It's GE paying NO TAXES and Wall Street controlling decision-making and so on.
    And so on.

    Furthermore, the poll employs code phrases and dog whistles.  "Going deeper into debt " to fund welfare payments - but not "going deeper into debt" to fund the massive war machine?  "Deeper into debt" is pejorative and ominous, v. "running a deficit."  And more.

    The polls shows me a disaffected and imputes to me a series of views I do not hold.  I am a left-progressive.  In Europe I would be voting sociall democratic.  
    This is the Village speaking - and preening in the mirror.  Nauseating.

    •  agree... (9+ / 0-)

      though don't know that I'd call it "deeply flawed" as much as far too narrow a view of the spectrum.

      It clearly wants to pull the people who are at the extreme ends back into the spectrum, making that "call for unity" thing real by having the outer categories be so broad as to be absolutely meaningless in some ways.

      Its a centrist-focused test, with a centrist-izing purpose, it seems to me.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Sun May 08, 2011 at 09:01:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  centrist-izing (6+ / 0-)

        Yes and no.

        Yes, the poll seems to cutting off the wings of the curve, and make is seem like the center is dominant and the two "ideological extremes" are extensions of the center.  Or something like that.

        But reading this poll you would not know that a non-negligible portion of the electorate does not believe in democracy - the proposition that each person's opinion ought to count equally (I mean the wingnuts) or in the common good.  Pretending that the Far Right is connected in a smooth, continuous way to the center is ignoring their radicalness.

        Similarly, pretending that progressives are all about taxes rather than about restructuring our economy to be more democratic and sustainable - by limiting the unhealthy dynamics of corporatism - is to eliminate a crucial divide between liberals and progressives, to the detriment of the latter.

        In my view, the net result of these dynamics is to support the continued shift of the Overton Window to the right.  So, that's the No part.

        I'd be curious to see where you find my thinking murky or how you would clarify.

        •  I don't think your thinking is murky (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus, bythesea, RandomNonviolence

          I agree with much of what you say. But your calling it deeply flawed is not, in my view, the proper criticism for the poll. The poll is not flawed at all as far as I can tell. It is very, very informative...

          with its limited perspective.

          And that is where I see your criticism as being right on target.

          The poll is framed within the limited acceptable political discourse in this country. Even so it shows the cracks and strains of how that limited discourse does not really capture the views of Americans as a whole.



          "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

          by Andrew C White on Sun May 08, 2011 at 09:37:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  thanks (4+ / 0-)

            "framed within the limited acceptable political discourse in this country" - you hit the nail on the head.  Cogent, concise.

            That's what I was trying to name by referring to the Overton Window.

            Additionally, I argue that the limited area of acceptable discourse is not static, but more of a vector, moving steadily towards the right - towards a neo-feudalism where corporations and investors have rights and citizens do not.  

            When I was a student in the 60s and 70s, Ayn Rand was on the fringe.  The idea that eventually a head of the Fed and a large portion of elected Republicans would be her acolytes and groupies would have seemed far-fetched.

      •  I think that is a better description (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bythesea, RandomNonviolence

        it is limited by its framing within the "accepted" American political discourse.

        But flawed it is not. It reflects that limited framework quite well. It also shows how that framework is failing to capture the true beliefs of the American people. The (supposedly) "surprising" divisions within party coalitions show that people don't fit neatly into the boxes the powers that be would like us to fit into.



        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Sun May 08, 2011 at 09:34:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You're saying Pew has an agenda here? (0+ / 0-)

        Beyond your own views on the nature of the question wording, do you have any evidence to support that claim?

        Political Director, Daily Kos

        by David Nir on Sun May 08, 2011 at 01:20:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That the poll isn't asking the questions (6+ / 0-)

      you want answered doesn't make it "deeply flawed." It makes it a different poll.



      "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

      by Andrew C White on Sun May 08, 2011 at 09:31:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Post-Moderns (10+ / 0-)

    "who they are" reads less like a political analysis of a group and more like an age-demographic with no real formed political opinions.  The as yet politically naive or immature.

    More a Facebook crowd than a political sub-group.  Who knows what will form them and their political orientation?

    Likewise, the Disaffecteds read like an economic sub-group, largely defined by experiences with unemployment, low incomes, and burdened by little education and saddled with parenting chores.

    The latter will be harder to recruit than Post-Moderns because their political reference is already based and biased on personal economic issues and little else, judging by the measures highlighted by Pew.  And Obama's presidency hasn't been defined so far by what it's accomplished for the unemployed and poor and those who have lost their homes to foreclosure, beyond extension of unemployment benefits.  Only jobs creation will probably win their hearts and minds; broader political issues -- global warming, foreign oil dependency, monetary policy, civil/immigrant rights, the deficit, tax reform, etc. aren't going to do it for them.

    2012 will most likely be another "it's the economy, stupid" election years.  Hang onto our Democratic hats.

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:49:45 AM PDT

  •  So Swing Voters are the Disaffecteds (4+ / 0-)

    and the Post-Moderns?

    Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain. -- Mark Twain

    by Sarea on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:49:45 AM PDT

  •  It's good that Pew is investigates (8+ / 0-)

    if people fall into categories more nuanced than a traditional left-right scale. The problem is that their questions are not nuanced.  Government - good or bad?  Environmental regulation - more important or less important than jobs?  The alternative to homosexuality is wrong is not that it's ok, it's that 'gays and lesbian deserve rights just like everyone else.' The questions presume elite ways of framing that don't capture how the rest of us think.

  •  test's spectrum is too narrow (6+ / 0-)

    "solidly liberal" is a category that is capturing any number of people who aren't liberal and for whom liberal solutions and even liberal understandings of the problems aren't really adequate.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:54:13 AM PDT

  •  Wrong question, Pew (10+ / 0-)
    Business corporations make too much profit

    It's not how much profit they make, but how they make it and whether or not they pay their (fking) share.

    Ask that next time and I'd be really confident that a different trend emerges.

    Chaos. It's not just a theory.

    by PBnJ on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:55:00 AM PDT

    •  lotsa wrong questions IMO... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PBnJ, happymisanthropy, esquimaux, Matt Z

      but whatcha gonna do?

      A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

      by dougymi on Sun May 08, 2011 at 09:15:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  those questions are not meant (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock, Matt Z

      to be well defined according to your, or anyone's point of view. In fact the opposite is true. to be able to discriminate between various groups, they often have to join, and conflate two related but separate issues into one 'slightly' ambiguous question.
      For example to tell groups 1 2 3 and 4 apart, you will have one question that combines points of view of group 1+3,  and 2+4, and another question that does the same with group 1+2, and 3+4.

      •  But that has the consequence (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PBnJ, RandomNonviolence, Matt Z

        that, even though it might accurately estimate percentages of the greater population, it has a high chance of mistyping any given individual.

      •  Yup, I'm familiar with survey design (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        And what they've done is not disambiguate or neutralize the statements as you describe, but rather loaded them with specific meaning without the any verifying questions, e.g., ever taken a survey that seems to ask a the same sort of question multiple times? They want to get at the dependencies and nuances. Those nuances matter.

        If I answered no, then that would likely put me in a different type than if I answered yes. If what you describe were true, then the question could have justifiably been phrased: Corporations don't pay enough taxes on their profits. But that's just as loaded as the statement they used and that's why both questions, per good survey design, need to be included.

        I'm generally impressed with Pew and use them for a lot of backup research but on this one, they entirely disappoint. These are mistakes that a a junior person would make and no senior staff even reviewed before it was executed.

        Chaos. It's not just a theory.

        by PBnJ on Sun May 08, 2011 at 11:09:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  unless you aim for a minimal set of questions (0+ / 0-)
          But that's just as loaded as the statement they used and that's why both questions, per good survey design, need to be included.

          Well, given the small number of questions compared to the number of categories. The goal was probably to keep the number of questions as low as possible. So they can not allow themselfves the luxury of including a 'better worded' version of the same question.

  •  Hey, I'm a solid liberal! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew C White, Odysseus

    Could've told 'em that with taking a test, but what the hey.

    "Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage." - Confucius

    by IndieGuy on Sun May 08, 2011 at 09:01:27 AM PDT

  •  took the quiz, almost (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cambridgemac, wishingwell, Odysseus

    perfect 'solid liberal' as expected.

    One question though. what is the 'moderate ideogy' mentioned in the article ?

  •  hahahahaha at this: (5+ / 0-)
    If you’re wondering where you fit in the scheme, you can take Pew’s typology test, although chances are pretty good that, if you’re reading this at Daily Kos, you’re already one of the 14% of the nation who’s a Solid Liberal.

    And where do you fit in if you claim you are a "solid liberal" but you are so pissed at Obama that you are thinking about voting for the republican?

  •  of course i come out as "solidly liberal" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PBnJ, Odysseus, bythesea

    but i have never tagged myself as such...i'm left of there

    "Kill 'em with Coupons: Paul Ryan's Road to From Medicare to Manslaughter"

    by memofromturner on Sun May 08, 2011 at 09:10:03 AM PDT

  •  Hard Pressed Democrat (5+ / 0-)

    That's about where I thought I'd be. I always say that I'm a populist and not a progressive.  I'm conservative on environmental issues and immigration and that's why I make the differentiation. American jobs need to come first.

    Support Fair Trade. Buy American! Keep jobs at home. I am a populist who is non-interventionist on foreign policy.

    by John Lane on Sun May 08, 2011 at 09:10:59 AM PDT

  •  I'm a disaffected by nature (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, happymisanthropy, Antacid, Odysseus

    And a solid liberal by sheer Yankee effort.

  •  Solid Liberal (5+ / 0-)

    Far as I'm concerned, not one of those questions was even open for debate. They all looked like, "intelligent, informed opinion" vs "What Teabaggers Think."

    Every day's another chance to stick it to the man. - dls

    by The Raven on Sun May 08, 2011 at 09:15:10 AM PDT

  •  solid liberal! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew C White, Odysseus

    I consider myself pretty conservative but the poll classified me as a solid liberal! I guess I am just right of the left most spectrum of population and still within the 14% of the left. Interesting.

  •  Solid Liberal here (3+ / 0-)
    "A third regularly listen to NPR, about two-in-ten regularly watch The Daily Show and read The New York Times"

    I'm not crossing the new NYT paywall, damn. Don't watch TV, hence, no Daily Show.

    Listen to NPR 24/7

    Come on over and visit, you 14 'per centers'! Good to know we are not alone.

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Sun May 08, 2011 at 09:20:58 AM PDT

  •  How the heck am I a Solid Liberal? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I mean, aside from the badly written questions with binary alternatives...

  •  This quiz is bullshit because it weighs the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RandomNonviolence, Matt Z

    Party ID response at like 95%.

    Depending on what I enter there, leaving everything else constant, I'm either a solid liberal, disaffected, or a staunch Republican.

  •  Newspeak? (0+ / 0-)
    "Government should do help need even if there’s more debt"

    Where's that darn Babel fish when I need him?

    An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics - Plutarch

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun May 08, 2011 at 10:44:13 AM PDT

  •  Tech Problem Wth This Diary (0+ / 0-)

    Ok, so this is a strange one....when I select the entire diary (text & graphics), copy and paste into Evernote.....the graphic does not seem to along for the ride.  But it seems to be only this diary - as a test I just copied several other DK diaries today with graphics as well as a few other things from Google REader and they all went across.

    Anyone got any idea what could be causing this?

  •  Solid Liberal but not white (0+ / 0-)

    I took the test and where does it say Solid Liberals are mostly white? I am a 1960s black female post-hippie badass. Maybe it was my income level or education or whatever.

    "This country was founded on compromise. I couldn't go through the front door at this country's founding" - President Barack Obama

    by AAMOM on Sun May 08, 2011 at 11:27:55 AM PDT

  •  I'm really suprised I turned out to be a (0+ / 0-)

    solid liberal.

    I thought I was much more center-leaning.

  •  I just re took the test, leaving all my answers (0+ / 0-)

    the same, but clicking on Republican at the end, still comes up solid liberal.

    "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

    by ban nock on Sun May 08, 2011 at 12:26:26 PM PDT

  •  Post Modern (0+ / 0-)

    I'm in my late 20's. I describe myself as very socially liberal as a gay man, lean fiscally conservative, pro regulation-financially/environment, and for a single payer option in the healthcare system.

     The government defninitely needs to revamp SS and Medicare, but needs to cut wasteful military spending. By the way, I think an immigration compromise needs to be done, but it won't happen until 2013 unless Obama wins re-election.  I supported the Bush immigration plan that was the Teddy & old bastard from Arizona compromise. (I support Obama deporting record numbers as his negotating chip with the repubs).

    The congress is filled with way too many douchebags, but Obama has my 2012 vote in the bag. He's definitely the brightest man out of the bunch. The economy is rebounding solidly compared to when McCain said it was doing fine in the fall of 2008.

  •  This is terrific. (0+ / 0-)

    It's a much more nuanced, and I think, accurate map of the political landscape. It confirms something I have long suspected: liberals and independents who are sympathetic to liberal views (most of the time anyway) are a decisive majority in this country.

    Now, how to herd all these cats? That's the tough part.

    BTW, I'm a New Coalition Dem, though I think I fall on the left wing of that cohort.

    "Democracy is like chicken soup. You have to stir it up often or a scummy oily film forms at the top."

    by StratCat on Sun May 08, 2011 at 01:29:12 PM PDT

    •  On being a New Coalition type... (0+ / 0-)

      the either/or nature of the questions led me to give answers that are more pro-business and rightwing sounding than I actually am. As a business owner/management type, I am most definitely a capitalist, but a small business capitalist, not a corporatist by ANY stretch. That and my atheism tends to push me toward the libertarian camp.

      I definitiely embrace the "coalition" part of the label. I want to help build and be part of something very broad based that includes pretty much everyone who is not a conservabot.

      "Democracy is like chicken soup. You have to stir it up often or a scummy oily film forms at the top."

      by StratCat on Sun May 08, 2011 at 01:48:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Post Modern at 46 (0+ / 0-)

    Is what I seem to have come out as; I think the complete lack of any religious feeling in me skews me into the group.

    Couple thoughts: I think there are more postmoderns (whatever that means) in DK then one might suspect - I was actually flattered that I line up with the young people; they do seem to respect me as a teacher. the other thing is that a lot of the postmoderns strike me as Democrats who break democratic in large part because they find the Republicans so offensive (I know I do) and thus didn't turn out as much in 2010 as the Demos started acting like Republican-lite (I know this is perhaps painting with too broad a brush, but stay with me for a minute) and thus are a group that needs firing up. I promise everyone I voted in 2010 and NOT republican. But man in 2008 I actually went out and campaigned for Dems, President Obama specifically, but also Mark Schauer.

    Finally, along with the youngsters I think a lot of postmoderns are people who started conservative and have evolved their thinking; perhaps 'not enough' might be the retort from solid liberal, but evolved nonetheless.

    An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

    by MichiganChet on Sun May 08, 2011 at 01:38:28 PM PDT

  •  I have doubts about the survey and it's results (0+ / 0-)

    Most, if not all, of the questions are all-or-nothing. It is hard for me to trust any survey that has so many answer choices that do not accurately capture my view, and in some cases, come close to capturing it.

    If so many of my answers were not reflective of my position, how can I trust the end result and designation?

    "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." ...Bertrand Russell

    by sebastianguy99 on Sun May 08, 2011 at 04:12:33 PM PDT

  •  Im disaffected (0+ / 0-)

    I thought I was a solid liberal and they say I lean republican bull shit  

    " Pain is the cracking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Its bitter potion your inner physcians uses to heal its sick self.

    by itsnotmyfault on Sun May 08, 2011 at 05:47:38 PM PDT

  •  CANABIS (0+ / 0-)

    Why did you not poll on this?

    I suspect that most of the people in this blog would not like the results for outright legalization.

    Just Saying!

    Do you think the Democrats got the message that we will not vote if they do not produce?

    That and being homeless makes people think less about taking time to vote!

    Someone yell that in the idiots ear!

    And tell him either to free Bradley Manning or I will fuck him over with the NJ teachers Union.

    I suspect watching a tortured teen in GITMO and later given a shame trial by Obama won't go over to well with the teachers.

  •  I think of myself as a Bernie Sanders type (0+ / 0-)

    independent-way to the left of the Democratic party but I scored as a Solid Liberal.

    "They had fangs. They were biting people. They had this look in their eyes,totally cold, animal. I think they were young Republicans."

    by slouching on Mon May 09, 2011 at 08:32:29 AM PDT

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