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Gallup, August 2011

Want to know why things happen the way they happen? Want to know why the president doesn't call you first? Gallup has a reason:

Americans' political ideology at the midyear point of 2011 looks similar to 2009 and 2010, with 41% self-identifying as conservative, 36% as moderate, and 21% as liberal.

If this pattern continues, 2011 will be the third straight year that conservatives significantly outnumber moderates—the next largest ideological bloc. Liberalism has been holding steady for the past six years, averaging either 21% or 22%, although notably higher than the 17% average seen in Gallup polling during the early to middle '90s.

I don't say this as a good thing. But it is what it is, and explains some of the maneuvering in DC, especially the "well, liberals got rolled, but let's see how the indies liked it" beltway thinking.

Of course, the flaw in that argument is that independent ≠ moderate (44 percent of them, a plurality, are, but 35 percent check in as conservative or very conservative). And the Democratic party (it's not "Democrat party") is more moderate (39) than liberal (only 29), which explains how liberals can be pissed off while the WH still maintains reasonably good numbers from Democrats (we'll see what happens this week).

The Democratic party is a coalition of moderates and liberals (68 percent). The Republican party is a coalition of conservatives and very conservatives (71 percent). Still, moderates independents aren't trending more conservative and the Democrats are not trending more liberal.

Gallup - Independents
Gallup - Independents
Gallup - Democrats
Gallup - Democrats
Gallup - Republicans
Gallup - Republicans

Looks like the Republican party is no place for moderates. But look also to the growth of independents rather than Democrats, as Stan Greenberg points out that weekends like this make people lose faith in government:

Oddly, many voters prefer the policies of Democrats to the policies of Republicans. They just don’t trust the Democrats to carry out those promises.

When you get a moderate after voting for a moderate, don't be surprised if policy isn't always to your liking.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (104+ / 0-)

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 05:22:12 AM PDT

  •  Bitter medicine to swallow this AM (19+ / 0-)

    But this is a fact-based community. We have to accept the task at hand: to move the Overton Window and strengthen the more progressive instincts of the 60% of the population that has not gone batshit insane.

    "Respect for the rights of others is peace." -- Benito Juarez, president of Mexico

    by Blue Boy Red State on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 05:27:18 AM PDT

    •  It would help if the media (3+ / 0-)

      wouldn't constantly play the false equivalency game.  

      It would also help if our side could actually form a coherent message.  I've always thought one of our biggest problems is that, because we're a coalition of a bunch of different groups, individual messages compete with a grand narrative for space and the net result is we have no message.  The media and the right fill in that gap and so all the majority hears is a right-leaning message.

      •  Coherence would be nice. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Blue Boy Red State

        The MoveOn petition drive for a balanced deficit cut had 32 organizations behind it, including Big Orange.  

        A wholly owned and operated subsidiary of Two Cats Enterprises

        by Yamaneko2 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:44:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  ARRRGGHH! YES! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        madmsf, MKSinSA

        Now the Dems who want to protect the bog 3 are being painted as the extreme end of the Dem party. To the media, apparantly supporting the will of the vast majority of the country is somehow now extremely leftist.

        Just when life has gotten as surreal as seems possible, it gets even more so.

        Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

        by JTinDC on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:54:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Truth pill goes down hard. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Imhotepsings

      Gagging, trying to purge.......acccchgggaaaa.....

      Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

      by Bush Bites on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:19:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem with using this data is that (20+ / 0-)

    there's no set definition of 'conservative", "moderate", 'liberal."  Which leads to "Oddly, many voters prefer the policies of Democrats to the policies of Republicans. "

    So how about DC paying attention to the policies voters prefer, rather than labels that could mean anything.  

    Republicans: if they only had a heart.

    by leu2500 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 05:29:23 AM PDT

  •  What does "moderate" mean? "Liberal?" (13+ / 0-)

    How about "conservative?"

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 05:30:10 AM PDT

  •  Most liberals I know refer (27+ / 0-)

    to themselves as moderates. The way the word "liberal" has been demonized over the decades makes me wonder over the fact that 20% of the public still uses the label to describe themselves. Part of our problem is that liberals will criticize conservative policies, but have always shied away from attacking conservative people. They operate on tribal hatred, we do not. That is our weakness.

    If the fall of the house of Murdoch is a tragedy, it is the feel-good tragedy of the century-James Wolcot

    by beltane on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 05:30:24 AM PDT

  •  Poll them on the issues and they favor liberalism (14+ / 0-)

    1. Medicare for all
    2. Lift cap on Social Security payroll tax cap
    3. Higher taxes on the rich
    4. Deficit deal with increased revenue
    etc

    It is a shame that they don't feel comfortable self-identifying as liberals though.

    I guess we aren't as cool and "serious" as conservatives. /snark

    •  Doesn't matter (12+ / 0-)

      "Medicare for all" won't be on the ballot... individuals will be on the primary and ge ballots up and down the federal, state, and local offices.  

      "Benefits" always poll well. "the environment" likewise polls well.  It's when the cost side of the benefit equation is brought in that things get murky- unless you genercize those costs as being shouldered by "someone else"

      Full Disclosure: I am an unpaid shill for every paranoid delusion that lurks under your bed - but more than willing to cash any checks sent my way

      by zonk on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 05:46:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is a bit of a shock (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lordcopper, Imhotepsings

        when you understand that the hard right views liberals as parasites. Like Alan Simpson says sucking off the teat of government. It's still that same old meme of wealth redistribution..... ! Lazy people who don't contribute take money out of my pocket. They literally view welfare, or what we describe as social safety nets as theft.

        you just can not pretend like spitting in the face of some progress, because it is 'not enough ' is going to get you more progress

        by missliberties on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:27:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What makes you think it's about 'comfort.' (5+ / 0-)

      You write as if the people who hold those beliefs feel like they're liberals in their heart of hearts but are afraid to say so.

      That completely misses what's going on.  They don't feel like they're liberals.  They feel like they're actually conservatives.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:19:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No one cares if they are liberals (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wbgonne

        Maybe instead of focusing on labels...we should focus on agendas.

        What label would we assign to people who want the President to focus on jobs?  What label would they assign the President if he did that?

        The continued misreading of the true drivers of the lack of support for the Democratic agenda only serves to reinforce it.

        This is the reason.  Not labels.

        http://www.nytimes.com/...

        "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

        by justmy2 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:42:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're conflating many different things. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Imhotepsings

          Self-identification is different from policy preferences which is different from support for individual candidates which is different from party identification.

          You're just mushing them all together.

          The same agenda, the same set of policy preferences, can both seem appealing and unappealing to people based on how it is sold, and how they perceive the identity of the person selling it.  There are certainly other things to say about politics other than noting identities and how they work, but they are a distinct and important point on their own.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:00:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, I am not. (0+ / 0-)

            I am saying they are different.

            And I agree with your last paragraph.

            So maybe I misinterpreted you first comment.  

            I reread it and now I am not sure what you mean.  Can you clarify whether you believe the President's policies or assumed position of the left/right meter is the determining factor?

            "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

            by justmy2 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:14:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Not true (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell

        They just think it sounds nicer to say they are "conservative." I always identify myself as a "moderate' but I think if you looked at my positions, they would be branded as extremely liberal.

        Jennifer Brunner for Governor of Ohio 2014

        by anastasia p on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 08:25:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Depends on issues (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Imhotepsings

      Poll them on global warming, evolution, gay marriage, flag burning, school prayer, a gas tax, and many other issues, you'll get vastly different numbers.

      This idea that it's really a liberal electorate that votes Tea Party because Democrats are too MOR, I think that's a complete fantasy, and shouldn't be part of any reality-based community.

      Explore "Brent's Brain" at http://www.brenthartinger.com

      by BrentHartinger on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:06:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, thanks I guess for the bitter pill after the (4+ / 0-)

    vomiting. I suppose it explains a lot. Very disheartening, tho.
    As Long as I'm not being heard, I might as well vote for my true beliefs, not the alternatives presented to me.

    "Say little; do much." (Pirkei Avot: 1:15)

    by hester on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 05:33:09 AM PDT

  •  I am a MODERATE I guess. (18+ / 0-)

    Here is what I believe in:jobs at living wages, equal access to quality education, guaranteed healthcare for all, a secure retirement for everyone, good housing, protection from hunger, a safe and clean environment, and a just taxation system where the corporate elite and the super wealthy pay their fair share.

    "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

    by tardis10 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 05:33:45 AM PDT

  •  Boy if I didn't know any better (11+ / 0-)

    and thanks to reading the commentariat on this site, I do - I'd think the wise thing to do might be convincing more of our friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers that a shift in ideology would be appropriate.

    As I said, though - I do know better.  Time is better spent railing against national reflections of that distribution and insisting that One Man either ignore or change (preferrably both, at the same time) that reality.

    Full Disclosure: I am an unpaid shill for every paranoid delusion that lurks under your bed - but more than willing to cash any checks sent my way

    by zonk on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 05:33:48 AM PDT

    •  Makes sence... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glynis, Imhotepsings

      besides, none of us knows what it is really like to be responsible for the hostage, even when there isn't that much you can do to save the day.

      •  You said a mouthful in so few words... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PLS

        As unhappy as I was with the extension of the Bush tax cuts and as unhappy as I am with this debt ceiling "agreement," my outrage is tempered by the fact that it isn't my job to determine what happens to the hostages the Republicans have taken at every turn.  And the fact that the so-called "true progressives" don't acknowledge that there even was a hostage only serves to damage their claim to the "progressive" mantle, in my eyes.  Progressives are supposed to care about people first, not ideology; their focus on ideology reads as if this were all some political game, and they are angry that their team keeps losing.

        "The struggle against power 'is the struggle of memory against forgetting.'" -Milan Kundera via Bill Moyers

        by Imhotepsings on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 08:55:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The term "liberal" has been so thoroughly (21+ / 0-)

    demonized and discredited over years by the Republicans and their megaphones in the media, that it's no wonder that people don't want to identify themselves as such.

    While I agree that we here--in talking with one another and reading the press we like--tend to think our numbers are greater than the general public views them, I believe if the poll had a list of policies which people could rate, rather than depending upon terms, you'd get a somewhat different number.

    Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

    by SottoVoce on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 05:34:46 AM PDT

  •  it's a chicken and egg thing (8+ / 0-)

    if Dem leadership actually fought for progressive ideas and campaigned on them people would realize what they actually were.  
    the media has been successful in making the term 'liberal' a 4 letter word, but other polls have shown that people overwhelmingly support progressive stances on specific issues.  the Dem leadership needs to embrace this as Pelosi has.  

    •  The majority overwhelmingly support (4+ / 0-)

      progressive stances on some specific issues. Not so much on others. Gun rights and abortion to name two that are often important to single issue voters, especially moderates and conservative.

      You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

      by sewaneepat on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:00:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the GOP uses single issue tactics to (0+ / 0-)

        gain voters.  do progressive groups do it enough?

        •  I don't know whether progressives do it (3+ / 0-)

          enough or not. Nor do I know if it would be effective since most Democrats seem to vote on overall direction rather than one specific issue and are people who are able to see gray, rather than just stark black or white.

          Another problem I see with the "they agree with us on..." is that while the vast majority of Americans would say that they agree with safety net programs for those who need them, many of those same people also believe that many people are gaming the system and get benefits they don't need. So they appear to be with Democrats on this, but in actuality they are with Republicans who want to make sure that anyone receiving benefits is one of the "deserving poor." You know, that 9% of poor people who do not have a refrigerator.

          You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

          by sewaneepat on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:22:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This tactic works for conservatives because they (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          glynis, PsychoSavannah

          are marrying their political position with a voters cultural/historic predisposition.  Liberals/Progressives are often asking voters to buck their cultural/historic (race, sexual orientation, gun ownership, etc).

          "Because I am a river to my people."

          by lordcopper on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:55:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, and LGBT rights are another. And in addition (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sewaneepat, Imhotepsings, wishingwell

        we have the contingent who will say they don't want cuts to Social Security and Medicare, but who are oh so worried about "socialism".  And the contingent who wants all sorts of social programs but does not want to pay for them (see:California).
        It's really not as simple as what people "want"-- never has been.

        •  Reminds me of this lady I was talking to on (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gramofsam1

          another website that is non political.  Something was mentioned and she felt she was the lone conservative in the bunch.  But then she said...

          Do you all still like me even if I am a conservative Republican as I am fully in favor of gay marriage. ?

          She is probably more like the Bush Daughters than Bush, sure seems like it.  But I am thinking Laura and her children , even though they want marriage equality and their one daughter has done ads for that in NY, are still  Republicans and consider themselves Conservative.

      •  They support progressive BENEFITS (6+ / 0-)

        For example, you might very well find a plurality of support for "Medicare for all" - perhaps even a majority.  

        But now add in the costs, and I'm NOT just talking about deductions.  Medicare's reimbursement rates would HAVE to be cut to support a Medicare global single payer program- and this place has had a multiple-month freakout over cuts to Medicare even when those cuts have been presented as falling completely on the providers.  

        It doesn't matter so much what people "want" - it matters what they're willing to trade for what they want.

        Full Disclosure: I am an unpaid shill for every paranoid delusion that lurks under your bed - but more than willing to cash any checks sent my way

        by zonk on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:30:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How true this is, zonk as I have a friend (0+ / 0-)

          who is fully in favor of single payer healthcare but he balks at the idea of any raise in taxes, even for the wealthy.  He is so anti tax but yet in favor of single pay healthcare or medicare for all and to lower the age to be eligible for full social security payments.  

      •  gun rights? (0+ / 0-)

        I never knew us progressives had a stance on gun rights?  I am not being snarky.  I am a progressive and fully in support  of the right to bear arms and haven't heard anyone argue differently.

        If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much stupid costs

        by Sychotic1 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:52:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Democrats have all sorts of opinion on (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PsychoSavannah, Imhotepsings

          both gun rights and abortion rights; however, the perception is that Dems are really after your guns no matter what they say and for abortion in all cases. Reality is not the basis for these people who think this, but none the less, that is the perception. And those who are for choice and gun control are mostly Liberals so conservatives use this as validation for their beliefs.

          You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

          by sewaneepat on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:07:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So our issues aren't really different on gun (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wishingwell

            rights, it is just being portrayed in the media as being different.

            If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much stupid costs

            by Sychotic1 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:47:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Certainly the party stance is not much different, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Imhotepsings

              although Democrats are for banning certain types of weapons and/or ammunition and Republicans are not. In the case of  individual people, there are more likely to be those who favor gun control on the left than the right.

              My point is that what people say in a poll is not indicative of how they will vote.

              As an example, I have a dear friend who is both very pro-choice and very pro-2nd Amendment. She is basically a libertarian who is very isolationist, very anti-war, very keep the government out of your bedroom and opposed to anti-drug laws. She would say in a poll that she supports a safety net for those who need it, but also says that many who receive aide from government programs do not need (deserve) it. However, she votes Republican in every single election. Her perception is that Democrats will take away her guns and will give welfare to anyone who wants it. I cannot convince her otherwise and those two things trump all the things she disagrees with the GOP about. She would be counted in these polls people talk about as agreeing with liberals, but she will never vote for a Democrat.

              You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

              by sewaneepat on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 08:06:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes I have some of that among my friends (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sewaneepat

                who are pro choice, very pro equal rights, absolutely loathe racists and call them out,  pro women;s issues, pro marriage equality and very anti war.

                But theyc onsistently vote Republican on tax issues only..they want severe tax cuts even for the rich and she is pro corporations.  She votes ONLY on business issues and pro business , pro Wall Street..and believes firmly that in the flat tax and that corporations and the rich should pay less.

    •  To quote a phrase often used by "progressives" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Imhotepsings

      on this site, if the leadership would just "clap harder, cheer louder", the country would buy into progressive policies.  I don't think so, but I will give you one point, the country is amenable to quite a few "progressive" policies, they just don't like "progressives".

      "Because I am a river to my people."

      by lordcopper on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:52:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The glory and the politics (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Imhotepsings, wishingwell

      The glory of the center-left is that it has taken upon itself the role of protecting the marginalized:  women, GLBT, racial minorites, religious and nonreligious minorities.  It's also the glory of the Democratic Party after the Dixiecrats decamped for the Republicans.  

      Electorally, progressives and liberals pay a price.  How many of those people who want universal health care and higher taxes on the wealthy get nervous when a black family moves into the neighborhood, or have joined the white flight to the suburbs?  How many would be happy with gay marriage in their state?  How many believe that life begins at conception?  On the last two questions, remember that the Catholic hierarchy and the Fundamentalist clergy which dominate American religion insist that the opposition to gay rights and abortion trump other concerns.  So, people in favor of marginalizing the Other vote Republican.  

      A wholly owned and operated subsidiary of Two Cats Enterprises

      by Yamaneko2 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:04:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am a proud moderate (5+ / 0-)

    Liberals look at life the way it should be but in the real world will never be that way. The reality is no matter who republicans run in any election 40% will vote for them.
    The democrats have a possible voter pool of about 55% so governing as a  progressive gets you the results we got in 2010.
    This is a slightly center right country and that's what Obama has to deal with. He won't make people here happy but a lot of the 57% may like it.  

    •  Moderates Refuse to Accept Historic and Scientific (3+ / 0-)

      fact, same as rightwingers.

      real world will never be that way.

      1940's, 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, pick any year and the economics of the middle class were better than today.

      In the 1960's I paid for state university working fast food and off quarter unskilled labor. I crewed sail racing for public school teacher at an urban yacht club, and he wasn't a member because of any family endowment.

      Same with climate change. The flaming liberals accept science's conclusion that major change is required now. Moderates insist there is no foreseeable time that could be done.

      The USA: to moderates, like it never even happened.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 05:54:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fail. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, supercereal, Sychotic1

      center-right, my ass. I'm sick of that meme.

    •  I am a progressive pragmatist who is (0+ / 0-)

      offended by your broad brush.  I see the real world and work to make it what it should be.

      Being pragmatic does not rule out liberal or progressive.

      If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much stupid costs

      by Sychotic1 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:54:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Self-reported ideology is useless (16+ / 0-)

    You need a set of questions and assign an ideology to a person based on their attitudes towards several issues.

    I'm fiscally a mid-20th Century moderate conservative, but by today's standards I'm a flaming liberal.  I'm sure there are Tea Partiers who think they're moderate based on the fact they'd rather exile gay people than execute them.

    Simple polls like this are fine for evaluating how language is being used to describe someone's positions, but otherwise are for entertainment purposes only.

    Hey, let's give the bully all our lunch money then he'll like us! He'll really, really like us!

    by nightsweat on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 05:40:37 AM PDT

  •  I believe Obama's going to find out (15+ / 0-)

    when people say they're moderate they don't mean located somewhere between McConnell and Cantor.

  •  Could be because stigma (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terabthia2, Sychotic1

    First of all Liberal is used as a dirty word across the media, so many that are probably choose the moderate label.  For instance I always consider myself a centrist and Independent leaning with Democrats, however, I am a flaming Liberal on this debt issue.  Maybe if Liberal was re-defined or even defined more would attach to it.

  •  NEVER MOTIVATE OR EDUCATE VOTERS!! (9+ / 0-)

    Never mention realworld facts.

    Given these two cornerstones of the Democratic Party, sure, we must continue our 30 year run as the 2nd conservative party, and continue moving sensibly to the right.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 05:46:59 AM PDT

  •  The most liberal people I know define themselves.. (8+ / 0-)

    as moderate because it implies reason (rather than what it really means, which is too busy to care one way or the other.)

    The term "liberal" is dead, even amongst liberals. Progressive or centrist is the split.

    Further, most "conservatives" are either socially liberal and fiscally conservative (i.e. hate paying taxes) or hate gays/black people, but love love love government intervention in every aspect of life except entitlements they don't personally receive.

    In short, the terms don't mean a thing towards showing why we get the policy we do.

    •  I agree 100% (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dillonfence

      Saying you are liberal is akin to saying you are into anarchy, drugs and welfare and handouts for all...that is how society sees it and I don't care to be slotted as a crazy lazy irrational liberal.  And yes I do know being a liberal does not mean that, however we lost the definition a long time ago just like we lost the debt ceiling compromise and the public option.

    •  The word "conservative" (6+ / 0-)

      by itself has positive connotations regarding caution, etc. "Moderate" also share these positive connotations. "Liberal" is a bad word. Even people here prefer the euphemism "progressive" to it. What does that tell us?

      If the fall of the house of Murdoch is a tragedy, it is the feel-good tragedy of the century-James Wolcot

      by beltane on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:06:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The brand has been seriously (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wiseacre, Imhotepsings, wishingwell

        tarnished.

         Self described liberals here most often refuse to accept any views as valid other than their own. And I often see such folks belittling others, as if their way is the only way. It describes a certain intolerance that is unbecoming.

        you just can not pretend like spitting in the face of some progress, because it is 'not enough ' is going to get you more progress

        by missliberties on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:33:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The progressives of the turn of the century (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Imhotepsings

          got a lot of important things done, especially against the robber barons.  They are the ones who started getting government programs to protect workers against plutocrats.  That's why I identify with the term progressive.  It implies progress as a society.

          The term liberal used to mean a people governing itself over monarchist elites governing the people.  Then in the 60s it devolved to a group of special interests, pro choice and anti discrimination mostly, and kind of lost its economic focus.  That is the problem today.  We need to have an organizing principle and not be a coalition of special interests because as the Republicans found out with their own big tent theory, it can be successfully splintered.

          At this point we need to focus the public debates on economics just as our namesakes did.  Our economic ideas are best, more just, and more in tune with reality and what people really want.  But as long as we keep talking about non-economic special interests, the conservatives have the advantage because they're talking economics and we're not.  I'm not saying abandon the social liberal positions of course, I'm saying there are two levels of dialogue.

          Which side are you on?

          by wiseacre on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:59:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  In my mind this site proves, (0+ / 0-)

      pretty definitively, that progressives and liberals are not the same thing.  Progressives seem far more willing to bail on issues they once claimed to support, or even completely throw those issues out when a politician they like no longer supports them, than I remember self-described liberals ever doing.  Maybe it's unfair of me, but progressivism seems to equal lip service, as far as I can tell.

    •  I used to do that... (3+ / 0-)

      ...call myself a "moderate" because it was reasonable and because I don't always fall on the "left" side of every issue.

      Then, as the healthcare debate sharpened, I was forced to embrace my inner socialist.  Screw whatever the media decides is some sort of bad word... I'm a socialist. On some days, I'm even a communist.  ;-)

      Article 196. Health is the right of all and the obligation of the State, guaranteed through social and economic policies that provide... universal and equitable access to programs and services for its promotion, protection, and recuperation.

      by SLKRR on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:27:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  actually not (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Imhotepsings, wishingwell
      Further, most "conservatives" are either socially liberal and fiscally conservative

      You will hear moderates describing themselves that way.  And they don't say being fiscally conservative means they hate paying taxes.  

      But we want to get to the same place. We just disagree on the how. --mmacdDE

      by glynis on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:54:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed and mostly the conservatives (0+ / 0-)

        I encounter are often

        Fiscally conservative but socially moderate

        or
         Fiscally moderate, socially consevative

        Or Fiscally conservative, socially conservative

        As i have a friend who is discovering he is a conservative Democrat and not a moderate Republican. But he is still socially conservative because he is an Evangelical. He has evolved to a very small extent on social issues and now believes in civil unions for LGBT but he is very anti abortion and I do not see that changing.  

        On the other hand, an old friend from college is in favor of gay marriage and choice and he is not religious at all..has a disdain for all religions... but he is very conservative politically on all other issues and close to being a teabagger.

        Friend number one is actually closer to voting for Democrats than Friend Number 2.

        Friend number one, the Evangelical who is anti abortion says he may switch parties or become an Independent as he feels the Repub party has moved too far right.

        Meanwhile the anti religious social liberally dude is a wingnut on political issues and he is a devoted Republican.

  •  So why is it when the American people are polled.. (6+ / 0-)

    ....on specific issues, like:

    Raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

    Leaving Social Security and Medicare benefits alone.

    Their responses tend to be left of center?

    Could it be that what the American people actually WANT and the structure of the political system (including self identification within that system) are estranged from each other?

    Nah......that would imply that American politics is disconnected from the genuine needs of the majority of the American people. It would also imply that the framing of political discourse within the established media structure is massively skewed to the right.....and we all know that's simply not the case......right?

    While I don't hold Obama in high esteem, that doesn't mean I would say he's the Devil Incarnate and the lessor of evils. He is merely the lessee of evils.

    by xynz on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 05:53:12 AM PDT

    •  I think that's part of it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquarius40, Imhotepsings, wishingwell

      But I think a big part of it two is that those "issues" tend to get polled strictly as "benefits"...

      I.e., only the hard right ideologues would prima facie oppose, say -- an energy grid increasingly reliant on green energy.... but -- let's say you add in the costs to the equation - would respondents still answer yes if it meant, say, 10% higher energy bills?  I would - but I'd bet dollars to donuts the responses shift.

      Same thing with something like a "public option" -- who except a hard right ideologue is going to be against that?

      Yet - for a public option to work, it couldn't just be an adverse selection pool.   You need enough people to elect not just to support the law, but actually support participation in it.... For a lot of people - especially singles and especially relatively healthy singles, a "public option" is probably going to cost more out-of-pocket than private options.   What are the numbers of respondents who would elect that public option if the costs are likewise presented.

      I generally dislike "policy polls" because for most issues, they lack any realistic definition of the whole cost/benefit equation.

      I mean - I absolutely and completely support elimination of oil company subsidies, and I support that knowing full well that the bastards would simply pass along price increases...  Would majorities - no matter what they might think of eliminating oil companies in general - support elimination of subsidies if weighted side-by-side with out of pocket cost increases?

      When it comes to policy polling, I think we can safely guarantee two things:

      1) Benefits will always poll strongly when presented in a vacuum and as pure benefits

      2) When costs are included, those benefits will still poll well- though noticeably lower -  when the costs are always presented as being born by "someone else".

      The types of polls that I think are really needed to gauge public support or opposition to policy just aren't feasible -- you'd need much longer and more complicated formats than pollsters can reasonably use.

      Full Disclosure: I am an unpaid shill for every paranoid delusion that lurks under your bed - but more than willing to cash any checks sent my way

      by zonk on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:17:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rubbish. (0+ / 0-)
        When costs are included, those benefits will still poll well- though noticeably lower -  when the costs are always presented as being born by "someone else".

        The fact that working class Americans believe that taxes should be raised on the wealthiest Americans first, doesn't mean they 'always want the costs born by someone else'. It means they KNOW the wealthiest Americans aren't paying their fair share.

        Working class Americans are quite willing to bear the costs of beneficial programs. They are willing to pay higher taxes, when it goes to programs like Social Security and Medicare.

        A January 20 CBS News/New York Times poll found that close to two-thirds of people would rather raise taxes than cut benefits for Social Security or Medicare in order to stabilize their finances. The poll also found that if taxes must be raised, 33 percent would favor a national sales tax, 32 percent would support restricting the mortgage interest deduction, 12 percent would raise the gasoline taxes, and 10 percent would tax health care benefits.

        While I don't hold Obama in high esteem, that doesn't mean I would say he's the Devil Incarnate and the lessor of evils. He is merely the lessee of evils.

        by xynz on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:12:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What choice did we have? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    banjolele, beltane, Sychotic1
    When you get a moderate after voting for a moderate, don't be surprised if policy isn't always to your liking.

            Obama, Clinton or McCain? We had no reason to believe Clinton would have been  more liberal than Obama but I'm thinking we may have lost less under a President McCain. Democrats would have fought tooth and nail against cut to Medicare and SS by a republican President as well as this backroom deal creating a "super-congress".

    My country is the world, and my religion is to do good. Thomas Paine

    by irate on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 05:53:33 AM PDT

  •  This is the result of... (5+ / 0-)

    ...25+ years of a constant barrage of the hate-media demonizing the word "liberal". It's little wonder it comes in last in the self-labeling department. The sad thing is, I know a whole bunch of so-called "moderates" really ARE liberals if they could just get over the internalization that it is somehow bad. It pisses me off to no end. I've met alot of people who identify as "moderates" who really are liberals but somehow can't admit that they are. Plus, poll after poll shows Americans are more to the left on many issues when questions are asked as policy, not political ideological labels.

    This won't stop Michael Medved, Michelle Malkin, Sean Hannity, et al from crowing about these results ad nauseum once again, however.

  •  The only thing I could come up with was (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1

    Duh!!!

    Perspective always helps.  

    That's what happens when you have a diverse party.  From where I sit, the only thing keeping a somewhat liberal democratic party on the map is percieved racism and the election of Obama has blurred the lines for more people than the democratic party should be comfortable with.  People usually take what I just said with a grain of salt but it's true.  

    I think liberals should break off, so that the messages are separate.  If they don't it will be like that stupid frog in boiling water analogy they always make.  Get out now, stop messing around with a progressive caucus and form a real party with real money.

    It'll give moderates some deniability, it will relieve moderate democrats of the anchor which is large government(like it or not, it's an anchor) and it will force many moderates to choose sides, which would ultimately result in a larger progressive/liberal party.

    Jussayin' better to act than to pretend, if liberals are that strong they are going to have to prove it eventually.

    Who shot ya? Seperate the weak from the ob-solete Hard to creep them Brooklyn streets It's on ____, f**k all that bickering beef I can hear sweat trickling down your cheek

    by mim5677 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 05:55:19 AM PDT

    •  But why don't they break off? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell

      The actual platform of the actual Democratic party mirrors our beliefs a whole lot more than theirs.

      If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much stupid costs

      by Sychotic1 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:01:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How's it working out for you? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell

        I think the platform is irrelevant and if you took a liberal platform and combined it with people who ID as liberal and very liberal, it would actually mirror your beliefs in a more specific way rather than in general terms.  

        With numbers like these in this poll, only a few things can happen.  1.  Liberals eventually take over the democratic party. 2. Liberals leave the democratic party.  3. Moderates work to bring the GOP back to the middle.

        The first one will take too long.
        The second one will give liberals a solid voice and voting block(you could actually be in the same party as Bernie Sanders rather than just the same caucus).
        3. Is going to happen eventually but in the form I mentioned it will be at the expense of the democratic party.

        People like to win more than anything and yes people do like to make a clear choice.  Right now at this point in history the choice people want to make is between getting things done and not getting things done.  

        Liberals weren't involved in that fight in 2010, when they should have been.  Principles can be a painful fight if you are going to lay it all on the line all the time.  If Obama gets a second term, I have no doubt you are going to see some major shifts in how he does business, but if people aren't going to afford him the room to operate that way, he'll never get to do it.

        Break off to get more power, right now the DNC can swallow liberals up because they are in the group, if you break off they have to consider positions.  I don't see this as complicated.

        Who shot ya? Seperate the weak from the ob-solete Hard to creep them Brooklyn streets It's on ____, f**k all that bickering beef I can hear sweat trickling down your cheek

        by mim5677 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:23:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think Liberals are going to (0+ / 0-)

          retake the Democratic Party.  We didn't leave the party, somehow the party left us.

          How are we going to do it?  I am going to work my ass off at the state and federal levels (forget the Presidency for now, lost cause).

          If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much stupid costs

          by Sychotic1 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:29:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I hear you but... (0+ / 0-)

            If liberals retake the democratic party and it's basically a teabagger version of a democrat you are going to end up losing voters for a longer period of time than you are comfortable with.

            The Presidency is a big deal especially if you are going to give it up because he is not liberal enough.

            Better to leave the party in my opinion.  If America is to sustain itself originality has to be a part of the process.  You have to recognize the harsh realities of that graph.  The likelyhood that liberals will be able to take over the mantle of the democratic party, within X amount of time is a tough road to hoe.

            How long would you be willing to realistically work at it and still have an affect on government policy, or at least the kind that you want to have.  

            American moderates have proved more than willing to ditch "principles" for productivity.  You are taking less of a risk I think by going it alone and there is a bigger payoff in the end.

            Who shot ya? Seperate the weak from the ob-solete Hard to creep them Brooklyn streets It's on ____, f**k all that bickering beef I can hear sweat trickling down your cheek

            by mim5677 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 08:16:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I didn't get past teabaggers (0+ / 0-)

              your false equivalence can fuck right off.

              If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much stupid costs

              by Sychotic1 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 08:21:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Your funeral buddy... (0+ / 0-)

                I can imagine they react the same way to things they don't like.  

                That's the whole point, the numbers say the public overall is rejecting your point of view, even if they like the policies, that's an attitude problem.  

                You have to drop the emotional garbage and grow up.

                Who shot ya? Seperate the weak from the ob-solete Hard to creep them Brooklyn streets It's on ____, f**k all that bickering beef I can hear sweat trickling down your cheek

                by mim5677 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:32:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Wanna know why people identify that way? (0+ / 0-)

    Because Obama and Dems readership are afraid to fight, afraid to frame the issues in ways that would resonate with the people, afraid to challenge conventional wisdom, and afraid to speak truth to power.

    That conservatives have captured populist angst post-Wall Street bailouts and the economic crisis, that most people don't realize their taxes went down under Obama, and that most don't know the major source of our debt speaks volumes about the lack of Dem leadership.
     

  •  All things in Moderation (8+ / 0-)

    When I was a student activist I was definitely in the "very liberal" camp.  However, after being a union/political organizer for a few years and realizing what it takes to actually get things done, I have become a "moderate".  I know longer subscribe to the philosophy of all or nothing because that thinking most often lead me nowhere.  My current point of view is it's better to get some of what you want even if it's just a little, rather than have nothing at all.  

    Thanks for posting a great diary based in the realm of reality.

    "The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments." Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, section 191

    by Demian on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:03:05 AM PDT

    •  100% agree (4+ / 0-)

      I am proud to call myself a progressive pragmatist.

      Progressive means you take one step at a time..... see what works, and if so take another one. It doesn't mean trying to get to the top of the mountain all in one leap, which is what I see a lot of liberal idealists wanting.

      you just can not pretend like spitting in the face of some progress, because it is 'not enough ' is going to get you more progress

      by missliberties on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:36:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You're talking about labels only. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, wbgonne, supercereal, Sychotic1

    Get into the weeds of policy, and you'll find significantly more agreement with liberal political thought.

    Regards,
    Corporate Dog

    -----
    We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

    by Corporate Dog on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:04:22 AM PDT

    •  that's true (3+ / 0-)

      look at the 2010 exit poll numbers for self described ideology... they match these pretty well.

      http://images.dailykos.com/...

      Moral? What moderates think also matters. And if you turn them off, likely as not we get conservatives at the polls. You will not like how they vote.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:09:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So do you think capitulating to the (0+ / 0-)

        tea party, cutting funding for services many Americans rely on, and making demands you can't keep turns moderates on or off?

        Would a focus on jobs as a counter argument to austerity turn moderates on or off?

        That isn't snark btw

        "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

        by justmy2 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:46:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's interesting (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Imhotepsings, wishingwell

          there was a focus group run by democracy corps on this issue and indies hated the TP... the question remains where they go.

          Independent Voters Flee Boehner, Congressional GOP

          A national web survey conducted this week by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner on behalf of Democracy Corps, shows that Independent voters do not trust House Speaker John Boehner and the Congressional Republicans on the debt ceiling and budget deficit debate. These swing voters are tuned in and paying close attention to the debt ceiling debate in [...]

          http://www.democracycorps.com/...

          This is a potential group, not "ok I commit to vote agaisnt Boehner and his agenda". But they can be persuaded.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 08:14:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't like how they vote NOW. (0+ / 0-)

        What good does watering down legislation to make it palatable to those with quantifiably bad ideas do for our country?

        Spending cuts and austerity were a poor idea back when FDR did it, and it stalled the then recovering economy. That makes them a bad idea now, regardless of the politics behind it.

        If you're somehow suggesting that the debt ceiling bill is based around "what moderates want" (and I don't believe it is) then moderates are a bunch of dolts with poor ideas.

        Moderates are not "centrists", and "centrists" are hardly in the mythical middle of our country's two-party system.

        Regards,
        Corporate Dog

        -----
        We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

        by Corporate Dog on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 08:00:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  and yes (3+ / 0-)

      I am talking about labels only. it's a post about labels.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:09:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Flowers not weeds (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell

      You'll never find a shortage of support for liberal benefits (the flowers).... but the weeds include the details of costs and impacts, and those things cannot be easily polled.

      Full Disclosure: I am an unpaid shill for every paranoid delusion that lurks under your bed - but more than willing to cash any checks sent my way

      by zonk on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:19:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Giving the military budget a shave... (0+ / 0-)

        ... and taxing the ever-loving crap out of hedge fund billionaires and companies that ship jobs overseas, find a rather broad consensus.

        Regards,
        Corporate Dog

        -----
        We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

        by Corporate Dog on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:53:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  More flowers (0+ / 0-)

          Or at least -- weeds for someone else.

          So - let's give the military budget a shave... there are about 1.5 million active duty personnel and about the same number of reserves.  Those people get salaries, in some cases, housing, benefits, health care, et al.   Should they get a shave?  

          Or - by all means, let's "tax the crap" out of companies that ship jobs overseas... now -- for that guy that say, runs an IT startup out of his garage and perhaps uses one of the many job boards for certain specific tasks and development efforts -- you gonna tax the crap out of him because someone from say, India, big $100 to architect his SQL database?  

          Like I said -- show me polls that are more than "do you like flowers" polls, and we might have something... but I'll say it again -- benefits without costs always poll well, and benefits that someone else pays for always poll nearly as well.

          Full Disclosure: I am an unpaid shill for every paranoid delusion that lurks under your bed - but more than willing to cash any checks sent my way

          by zonk on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:31:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  There was a recent CNN poll which asked if (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joynow, Imhotepsings, wishingwell

    Dems and Democratic leaning independents wanted Obama renominated or if they would prefer a different nominee.

     Of the Dems and Democratic leaning independents who oppose the tea party, 90% want to renominate Obama, while 10% want a different candidate. Of those who are tea party neutral, 61% want to renominate Obama and 38% want a different candidate. That certainly indicates that it is the more conservative element of the Democratic party that would prefer a different candidate.

    It is on page 34 of this CNN poll

    So if Obama faces a primary challenge, it is likely that only a more conservative challenger could beat him.

    You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

    by sewaneepat on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:06:44 AM PDT

  •  It's the difference between thinking liberally (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    supercereal, Sychotic1, joynow

    and calling yourself a liberal.

    Many people like to think they are moderate, because it means, in their mind, mainstream and middle of the road. I wouldn't be surprised that most of them hold very liberal beliefs.

  •  Anyone who talks to a wide cross section of (3+ / 0-)

    people knew this.

    "Because I am a river to my people."

    by lordcopper on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:12:37 AM PDT

  •  So 51% identify overall as moderate to liberal, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    and 41% identify as conservative to very conservative.

    That sounds as though it should be an electorate ripe for the picking for upcoming 2012 elections, if Democrats play their game right.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:12:45 AM PDT

  •  well they have demonized the word 'liberal' (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wbgonne, supercereal, freesia, Sychotic1

    So, I wouldn't be surprised if people don't want to self-identify with something that has been so maligned by the tv talking heads.

    •  because Liberal = black people (3+ / 0-)

      which is why FoxNews use this label all the time and also, sadly the reason white lefty democrats now call themselves "progressives."

      "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 Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:29:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Um, no it isn't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pot

        I call myself a progressive liberal populist and it is because each of them implies something slightly different.

        So, you can use that broad brush of yours but that doesn't mean you are correct.

        If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much stupid costs

        by Sychotic1 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:04:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

        What does race have to do with anything? I have never heard EVER that liberal = black people. And then you have to take your dig at "white lefty democrats". You are saying "white" lefty Democrats call themselves progressives because they don't want to be associated with black people which is absolute bullshit and is your way of trying to smear white progressives.

        Do you even know what progressive means?

        ‎'You have to understand Neo, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged, and many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.' Morpheus - The Matrix

        by pot on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:40:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  so the best that can be said for obama (0+ / 0-)

    is that he is acting in his own (perceived) political self-interest regardless of the merits of the policies for the nation and the american people

    when being craven is your best defense you have no defense

    please be advised that nothing in this comment should be construed as an endorsement of a third-party or third-party candidate

    by wbgonne on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:16:11 AM PDT

  •  My parents (4+ / 0-)

    identified as conservative Republicans, and voted as such, for about 40 years. In 2008 I had them take an online political compass test, and oops, they found out they actually were to the left of center, and far to the left of ANY of the presidential candidates.

    They voted for Obama.

    As many others in here have noted, identifying as conservative isn't the same as understanding what that position actually means.

  •  Count me as an Obamacrat (4+ / 0-)

    as an ole school Liberal Dem opposed to Progressive attacks against the President. I ain't moderate, nor conservative but I certainly do not support whatever wing of the Democratic Party that wish to defeat Obama in 2012.

    "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 Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:26:03 AM PDT

  •  liberals have an image problem (7+ / 0-)

    We don't like to admit it, but liberals have a self-created image problem.   I'm far more liberal than not, and I see it clearly... but a lot of people don't want to admit it.

    Far too often when you see liberals on TV, they're either hippie types or they're slobs like Michael Moore, and the stuff they spout is too often unrealistic and comes across as whiney, self-righteous, and self-congratulatory.  I know this'll be an unpopular view here in the echo chamber, but... that shit isn't anything most people look at and think, "I'd like to be like that."  Even I wince at it and wish they weren't representing my view, because when I'm arguing with conservatives I always have to do it while carrying that image on my back.   Michael Moore means well, but he's more burden than he is help.

    Conservatives are scum with an ideology that's a proven failure (just look at the results any state that consistently votes Republican gets - Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas anyone?), but in general they have much better image control.   I find them odious, but to the average American, they look like "success" and "patriotic" (albeit blindly).  

    It's something we don't want to admit, much less address.  

    "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

    by Front Toward Enemy on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:30:42 AM PDT

    •   if liberals were prettier we wouldn't get abused (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1

      it's our own fault that our elected leaders have betrayed us

      we better be nicer and prettier so we don't get beaten again

      please be advised that nothing in this comment should be construed as an endorsement of a third-party or third-party candidate

      by wbgonne on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:34:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  nope (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aquarius40, Imhotepsings, wishingwell

        You're still not getting it.  It's not about being "pretty" or "nice."  It's about not being a fringe element.  

        Liberals are becoming the "hipsters" of the political world.  As soon as they get power, they eschew it because it's like one of their bands getting popular -- that takes the fun out of it for them.  And the people they elect know this, and quit playing to them anymore, because that's a zero-sum game.

        It's an attitude that's going to keep the far-left from ever getting what they want.  Because, if they did get it, they'd decide that's not what they want anymore.  And I'm not convinced they want to win, anyway.  From what I'm seeing around DKos lately, it looks like people want everything to go to shit, as long as they can blame somebody else for it.  Then they get to be smug and say "Things would be better if we were running things!"

        "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

        by Front Toward Enemy on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:20:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's called advertising, it works (pro or con) (3+ / 0-)

      and unfortunately we have to think about stuff like that.

      I personally cringe at all the pot people whining about how much they really really need pot legalized.  I'm not talking about people with cancer, though I suspect a more potent painkiller like Demerol would work better than pot, based on my hazy high school recollections, which was the last time I really cared about pot issues.  But to the others, the ones without cancer - I have a suggestion.  If not having ready access to your mood altering substance of choice gets you this upset, do you think maybe you have a problem?  

      I personally don't like looking like a stoner.  And if that observation is too harsh, sorry.

      Which side are you on?

      by wiseacre on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:44:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As a follow-up, can you write a diary about what (0+ / 0-)

    the public's positions are, instead of the labels they assign to themselves?  

    I don't see the word progressive in that poll anywhere.  After RW demonization of the word liberal, many on this site are even afraid to call themselves liberal.  So I am not quite sure how this poll proves anything?

    "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

    by justmy2 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:31:47 AM PDT

  •  That's only because they used the word "liberal" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1

    If they polled on liberal policies, planks and values, like keeping Social Security, progressive income tax, anti-discrminiation, the majority of Americans would be liberal.  We've known this for years.  The GOP has successfully changed the meaning of the word liberal.  Tell me something I don't know.

    Which side are you on?

    by wiseacre on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:34:59 AM PDT

  •  Not accurate for understanding what people believe (0+ / 0-)

    actually believe.  In today's climate, the middle is just another word for don't have a clue, but know enough that its pretty shitty our there.

    The reason we even have liberal ideas and some policy in this country is because the liberal founding fathers stood firm on certain things.  It's because Lincoln stood firm o some issues.  It's because FDR stood firm and even led on many liberal ideas.  He was so effective the MOTU's got together to limit term limits of Presidents.  Its because Kennedy espoused liberal ideas and had backbone (e.g. Cuban missile crises)..  It's because LBJ pushed the Great society programs and signed into law civil rights, even at the point of damaging the current Democratic Majority, based in part on immoral positions in regards to blacks.

    Can you see Obama in any of these situations?  We would not be a country; be two countries; into Fascism and speaking German or/and Japanese; in a nuclear war; blacks still second class citizens and poverty at least twice what it is today.  

    Obama is a right of center neo-liberal pro-corporate Oligarchic lapdog.  He's a real turd as a Democratic President but a pretty good Republican one.  Very effective if you are a Reprobate.  He is the one person who has the bully pulpit to actually espouse a real liberal message and vision for this ocuntry.  Well, it ain't gonna happen with this Trojan.  The change you are getting is NOT what you hoped for!

    So, in lack of a liberal vision, and a hard right wing vision constantly being pumped at every opportunity, sometimes even by Obama and some Dems, what are people to do?  Most do not have the time nor inclination and many simply lack vision themselves.  Grand vision to see a future and try to work toward it.  That's okay however, most have lives to take care of an have no time nor inclination to envision a future much beyond their own personal hopes and dreams.  Add to this our dismal education system which hides the present successes in life as an advance of progress, of liberal ideas and simply trains kids to be cogs in a cruel quasi-capitalist/fascist system based on viritual ever shifting empires of financial control.

    So, people,, not liking the hard right message and lacking a left message fall into the middle.  Ready to be exploited by money, corporations, Oligarchs and lackey snake oil salesman like Palin, Bachmann, Romney, and Obama and many others.

    It's time to start cleaning up the Democratic House and forcing a liberal.progressive vision. I hope this shit package is rejected by the House and Senate and it puts on Obama the choice to act, or show what an abject, utter failure he really is once and for all.   Odds are, it will get through with teeth gnashing but no filibuster or holding ranks on the "progressive" caucus and the fluffers will come out trying to figure out how to paint lipstick on this pig and the one who let it get to this point and the Democratic Leadership, Obama.

    I hope more wake up from this kabuki theater play.  However real change cannot happen until we get rid of crap like Obama, and the enabling jokers on both sides. Odds are a harder shift to the right and a real Hobbesean future time will be needed to engender a Wisconsin moment at the national level and put real fear, fear for their very lives, into the MOTU's and their political lackeys.  They know this, and are doing all they can to insure that whenever people wake up, it will be too late.  Wake up!

    If you enjoy being the frog in the slow-boil then vote Obama, else maybe it's time to turn up the heat. The frog may just jump out and save itself ala Wisconsin!

    by TheTruthIsOutThrere on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:37:59 AM PDT

  •  Not suprised (0+ / 0-)

    if it were otherwise people like Bachmann and her likes will not hold national office and the orange fool will never be speaker.

  •  this is a waste of time. later. nt (0+ / 0-)

    please be advised that nothing in this comment should be construed as an endorsement of a third-party or third-party candidate

    by wbgonne on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:42:05 AM PDT

  •  You understand polling (0+ / 0-)

    you understand the importance of the control of  language in politics. Therefore you should understand just how useless this poll is.

    Question - how do your views differ from someone that you would define as a Liberal? If someone is actively trying to discredit a political philosophy they should at least put their argument forward rather than hide behind bad polling.

  •  That poll has been BS since it was made. If that's (0+ / 0-)

    what they base their decisions or leanings on they are dumber than I thought.

    Most people don't know what that question means.

    I was at work at lunch. We were talking politics.

    I asked 5 guys were they liberal or conservative.

    They all said Conservative.

    Once we started talking about who they voted for and what they supported they were really all liberals.

    Ask people if they are Democrats or Republicans and the numbers are sharply different.

    http://people-press.org/...

    Or this one.

    http://people-press.org/...

    When people are asked that question I swear they are not thinking politics. They are thinking about how they live their life.

    Despite the charts I posted above.

    If you really want to see what way people lean you have to ask them a specific question in regards to policy.

    Take a look at this poll and you will find most of America supports progressive policies overwhelmingly.

    It's not even close.

    http://people-press.org/...

    Bruce Bartlett On the Republicans in Congress. "I think a good chunk of the republican caucus is either stupid, crazy, ignorant or craven cowards, who are desperately afraid of the tea party people, and rightly so."

    by SharksBreath on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:53:04 AM PDT

  •  wait? (0+ / 0-)

    did this only ask people to assign a label to their politics?

    That is making a A LOT of pretty big assumptions.

  •  I'd love to see them NOT ask people what (1+ / 0-)

    they call themselves, but simply give them a list of policy positions, and then TELL people what category they actually fall in based upon their choices.

    I bet there are a lot of people who incorrectly describe themselves.

  •  America is not DKos (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40

    I thought DKos users in general understood that much.  

    Well you live and you learn.

    Quibble:  

    Still, moderates independents aren't trending more conservative and the Democrats are not trending more liberal.

    Your graphs seem to indicate the exact opposite dynamic, at least over the past few years.  looking at all three grpahs you see how the American political spectrum has grown more stratefied over the period covered.  The GOP has gone "purer" conservative, the DEMS have gone to an equal mix of liberal/moderate, and the INDs seem to have picked up the traditional (i.e. sane) Conservatives who have fled the GOTea.

    Of course with the values expressed as a %, there is no data on the relative sizes of these three blocks.

    Don't panic. Demonstrate.

    by Quicklund on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:08:55 AM PDT

  •  All this shows, (0+ / 0-)

    is how easily the vast majority of Americans are manipulated by propaganda. While on the one hand, if you actually asked people their policy preferences, overwhelming majorities of Americans would be considered flaming liberals by today's media standards of political discourse, voting behavior does tend to reflect these self-labels. So the bottom line is most Americans are their own worst enemies in the voting booth.

  •  Third Party is the way! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund

    Half of 21 percent ..... is.....um......well, I'm pissed!

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:13:59 AM PDT

    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      although I wouldn't join it as I am a moderate.

      I think a third party for the left is about impact rather than winning.  It's far too easy for a party where the majority are moderates to see what the other side has to offer in the event that what we see as less reasonable elements of our own party, trying to imitate teabaggers.

      If the dems split into two separate factions, it would force moderates to make a choice rather than what happens now, basically making deals with the GOP because we don't mind doing such things.  We wouldn't mind making deals with a more liberal party either but I think that party has to have a funding source that is independent of the DNC, otherwise there is no incentive to deal.  

      So you would have the GOP, the DNC, and a liberal party.  It would essentially remain a two party system with the moderate party acting as the deciding vote in many cases.  

      You could have actually had a proper discussion on third party or more liberal issues, if it was organized as such.

      Who shot ya? Seperate the weak from the ob-solete Hard to creep them Brooklyn streets It's on ____, f**k all that bickering beef I can hear sweat trickling down your cheek

      by mim5677 on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 06:15:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wording (0+ / 0-)

    To put it bluntly, the term "liberal" has been trashed over rather thoroughly in the MSM.  Both "moderate" and "conservative" are touted positively, e.g. "America is a conservative country."  So a lot of people who you'd think of as liberals identify as "moderate" and a lot of moderates identify as "conservative" because the moderates are, well, too liberal.  Remember that a disgruntled former conservative Republican probably won't self-identify as "liberal" even if they're more liberal than someone who does call themselves "liberal."

  •  Progressives have work to do. When will do it? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Imhotepsings, wishingwell

    It really is time to stop being victims. If we have policy positions on our side, then we need to turn those positions into votes. Clearly we have yet to match the sustained intensity of the Right.

    Just look at the rec list. Do you think anyone wants to listen to people who are waving "good-bye America"? Americans love winners,we have to start winning, and that means efforting and showing up everywhere. Fox News and Citizens United cannot bolt your front doors, or sew yours mouths shut, or keep you from visiting with other citizens. They cannot stop us from mastering the use of social media, in fact, social media should make it easier for us to compete with the Right's messaging.

    It is sad that in this reality-based community, we many cannot accept that the country isn't yet as progressive as we love to believe. It is time we project strength and unity instead of always being divisive and looking for self-defeat.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:15:45 AM PDT

  •  This deal isn't moderate its right-plutocratic (0+ / 0-)
  •  fuck gallup, fuck all the stupid polls............ (0+ / 0-)
  •  These labels are meaningless (0+ / 0-)
    •  They're not meaningless (5+ / 0-)

      to the people who responded to the poll. One can attempt to discredit the results when they're not in one's favor but real life people identify with those terms as asked.

      Trump / Palin 2012: "You're Fired / I Quit"

      by MKSinSA on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:30:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What do you think they mean? (0+ / 0-)

        What do you think they mean to the people who responded to the poll?

        How do they "identify" with the terms in a concrete way politically?

        Do "conservatives" favor cutting Social Security?

        Do "moderates" favor tax cuts for the rich?

        I repeat, these labels are MEANINGLESS.

        •  I suspect the 2010 mid-terms (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Imhotepsings

          pretty well tell us what they mean in concrete terms. People want legislators who will get things done. The Democrats, despite agreement with a person's particular desires, can't get things done and that was proven by having all three branches.

          If I was asked my political preference, without hesitation I would say Independent/Moderate. Many people voted for Democrats in the last presidential election to give President Obama the tools he needed. Those tools proved ineffective. The middle looked to more can do alternatives and Republicans were the only other option.

          An amazing quote that pretty well sums up my impression of the Democrats in the Congress comes from Stan Greenberg

          Oddly, many voters prefer the policies of Democrats to the policies of Republicans. They just don’t trust the Democrats to carry out those promises.

          Trump / Palin 2012: "You're Fired / I Quit"

          by MKSinSA on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:39:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Has to do with how bad Dems R at communicating (0+ / 0-)

    and having a piss poor party leader in Obama. A "leader" who undermines and triangulates around them. It's hard enough trying to corral Democrats but it's even harder when their party leader and POTUS abandons them. The Republicans gave them the sword many times in the form  of  Paul Ryan's plan, refusal to tax the wealthy and the recent act of extortion. But they fail to speak out in a unified, strong voice. They fail to articulate the tangible real everday successes of their principles while at the same time not honing in on the failings and hypocrisies of their opposition. You have to hammer the message everyday in a unified effort. Alas, the party is left a drift with a poor leader, poor deck hands and apologists blocking the life boats.
    To put it simply, the Democratic Party needs an enema.

  •  We had a chance.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DesignGuy

    ...and it was in those first hundred days, as hackneyed as that seems.  That was the time to show that government can work, and a time when we were giddy about our new president and the departure of the old one.

    The sixty vote people killed it, including the faux Democrats such as Ben Nelson, and the lack of fight for a large enough stimulus to change the culture as well as the economy doomed us.

    Despite it all, the President was able to have a decent first two years, and to accomplish things that needed to be done, and he should be congratulated for his successeseven while we bemoan the abject failure to do what needed to be done.  It may not have been his fault, but though he told us he was reading all of those FDR books, he did not learn much from them.

    The 100 days are important because once their over, and the usual political divisions re-emerge, the wave a new president can ride goes away and never returns.  The failure to achieve something lasting, cost him, and us, in 2010, and the results of that are what we see today.  Yes, elections do have consequences.
    He can be re-elected, of course, which appears to be the only thing he is devoted to accomplishing henceforth, and his election will prevent even a greater slide than the one we are on now.  To think this President, with all his intellect, cannot take us further and can look forward to, at best, stemming the tide for the next six years or so, is deeply saddening.

    Important whining and Red Sox stuff at http://edsbarth.blogspot.com/

    by Barth on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:39:42 AM PDT

  •  The other problem here is that the term (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    "liberal" has been under attack for years by the right and has been made into a negative term.

    I'd be curious how the more neutral term "progressive" polled versus conservative.

  •  Not Accurate (0+ / 0-)

    Polls will always underestimate the number of liberals in the country, but also underestimate the number of Republicans. Here's why:

    It's not fashionable to call yourself a liberal. Liberal has become a dirty word. Thus, many liberals will tell pollsters they are moderates. On the other hand, its very fashionable for Republicans to think of themselves as independent minded. So many Republicans will tell pollsters that they are independents.

    In a study, most people who voted for the Democratic Party candidate in six of the last ten elections said that they were Democrats. However a majority of people who voted nine times for the GOP candidate and Ross Perot once, said that they were an independent.

    •  moving target + uncertainty principle (0+ / 0-)

      but this at least uses the same question over time to look at trends.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:42:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Conservative" is ill defined. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jhecht

    I might call me and my family fairly "conservative," in that we are to a great extant a traditional and tradition following family. Fairly traditional forms of patriotism and religion (Catholicism) play a role in the family fabric.

    However, we are fairly hard-line on labor rights, want taxes raised in the wealthy and the big businesses, and while personally am pro-life in the sense that I think abortion is bad I feel my solution to that is to not get one (Though as a male that issue I feel will likely never arise anyway :D )

    So I think polling should be done to find out just what is a conservative.

    •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

      Clowns who support the most liberal energy (drill, baby, drill) and economic (free markets) policies call themselves conservatives.

      Battleground Wisconsin: Fascism has come to America

      by jhecht on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 08:30:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In my experience, Conservative is... (0+ / 0-)

      ...short hand for "I agree with mostly everyone else."

      "Conservative" can be interpreted as a desire  to maintain the current state of affairs. And to be honest, taking a hatchet to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is not Conservative.

      Change is scary to begin with. Add to the prospect of change a chorus of well-funded, narrowly self-interested screamers who have profoundly emphasized the downside of our collective view of "change" and minimized the dangers of their largely hidden, nefarious motives, and it becomes even scarier.

      It's not daunting to me that only 20% or so of us self-IDs as "Liberal." Out task really is to demonstrate and insist that much of what is being championed as "Conservative" is in fact change of a different sort: a change guaranteed to create even more uncertainty, dislocation and discord.

      The so-called "rising tide" is lifting only yachts.

      by Egalitare on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 09:01:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Explains nothing (0+ / 0-)

    "Conservative' and "moderate' and "liberal' are words who meaning can veer radically from one person to the next. They are entirely mutable and devoid of content, and meaningless unless you dig down into what people actually believe. if they prefer Democratic policies, they are simply choosing a label that they think is friendlier, probably because the right and the media have so thoroughly demonized "Liberal." But in fact, if they support Democratic policies, they are falsely labeling themselves. So this poll is likely not measuring anything real.

    Jennifer Brunner for Governor of Ohio 2014

    by anastasia p on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 08:24:26 AM PDT

  •  I'd like to see the numbers with the word (0+ / 0-)

    progressive instead of liberal.

    Even on daily Kos progressive seems to be the more used term, but not by everyone.

    Does progressive make people think of economic issues, and liberal make people think more of social issues?

  •  The terms used are the power-holders' fiction (0+ / 0-)

    as well as the product of a 30-year, 24/7, effort to make "liberal" synonymous with "scum of the earth" carried out in mass-reach media. Of course, people aren't going to identify with the word "liberal."

    At the same moment, pick an issue, almost any issue, and the majority favor the "liberal" position. Start with gay marriage's  (slim but growing) majority, through "out of the wars" solid majority, through "Save the safety net, tax the rich" overwhelming majority and you can see this is true.

    We've got a falsified, made for tv, Left and Right and a fantasy center which doesn't exist. No wonder Washington and Punditry are completely out of touch with reality. Reality as lived, reality as political thought -- DC knows nothing of either.

    People, most people, just want a decent life, a fair chance to improve themselves, and that authorities be responsible and trustworthy. Very few are ideologues of any sort, and there is no such thing as a center between the extremists presented on tv as our political poles.

    The true center, the true majority, gets slapped with a label, and then the label decreed a fringe, and from there our insane, and suicidal, politics flow. Then they take a poll "what do you call yourself?"


    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 08:29:30 AM PDT

  •  The methodology is skewed (0+ / 0-)

    Their sample is made up of 60% landline phone numbers pulled from listed telephone numbers and 40% cell phone numbers generated randomly. 1. We don't have a landline anymore and if we did, it would be unlisted. 2. I screen cell calls and don't answer numbers I don't recognize. My affiliation would never appear in one of these surveys.

    "So do not try to one-up me because I will one-up yours." Peggy Hill

    by anagram on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 08:42:06 AM PDT

  •  The Poll is Meaningless Nonsense. (0+ / 0-)

    The decades long assault on the term liberal has resulted in it having a strong negative connotation for a sizable part of the population.  For this reason, the poll under-represents "liberals" and over-represents "conservatives", especially among independents.  People feel better calling themselves conservative due to the negative associations liberal now carries.  

    A much better methodology would be to take a full set of issue polls and determine which side of each issue belongs to the liberal or conservative camp.  For instance, if you define "No Cuts to Medicare or Social Security" and "Raise Taxes on the top 2%" as liberal stances on issues, you will rightly get a much larger number of liberals.  Many of those who support liberal principles and take liberal stances on issues would never call themselves liberal when asked.

    Thanks for the diary.

  •  Thanks, Dem from CT. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT

    As a progressive extremist, I know I'm outnumbered and my views are radical and half-libertarian. I took the progressive online test just for amusement and scored something like 375 out of 400. The average in the United States was somewhere at about 209 on the progressive scale. I'm as crazy and radical as can be.

    That doesn't mean I'm not right. Jesus was radical, too, for the times. :)

    So, I suppose I'm a manipulative, pragmatic extremist. I know how far to push my views before people start backing away from me.

    "Warm smell of Moulitsas rising up in the air..." -seanwright

    by GenXangster on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 09:05:20 AM PDT

  •  I'm a LEFTIST...liberals are weak tea (0+ / 0-)

    I've called myself a leftist since my teens (early Reagan). "Liberal" groups in the US would be centrist in much of Europe. I'm well left of most European socialist-democrats so when forced to pick a label I call myself a leftist.

    This also allows me to explain to people that while I almost always vote for Democrats, I am not a party activist in that mold: I am a leftist and the Ds generally do not represent my positions on most issues.

    We need more LEFTISTS in America, if only to drag the dialog back closer to reality.

    "Take it easy-- but take it!" --Woody Guthrie

    by Mr Green Jeans on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 09:05:04 AM PDT

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