Peter Beinart in his 'Liberal' is Good piece for The Atlantic makes the argument that many conservatives self-identify as conservative even though they support both cultural and economic policies more aligned with liberal positions.
While Beinart goes on to discuss the psycho-social underpinnings of why this is so, my interest lies in the statistics underlying his article. Namely, he cites a 2013 paper by Christopher Claassen, Patrick Tucker, and Steven S. Smith at the Department of Political Science and the Weidenbaum Center of Washington University in St. Louis in which earlier research cited indicates between 1/3 and 1/2 of conservatives actually are liberals in all but name.
Beinart discusses the reasons for this so I won't go into them here. You can read his article for his take. http://www.theatlantic.com/...
What fascinated me is that while so many self-diagnosed conservatives are liberals in wolves clothing, the reverse is not true; those who identify as liberal actually subscribe to liberal positions.
The upshot for me being that we have a chance to liberate our closeted allies hiding behind the skirts of the conservative label by letting them know it's okay to come out and declare yourself a Liberal. We should provide them cover and support as they transition into the light of Liberalism and welcome them home with open arms.