A rose by any other name ... . W. Shakespeare
Polls on Americans’ ideological preferences have long reported a more or less 40% conservatives, 40% moderates, 20% liberals mix. From this conservatives conclude that we remain a conservative, or at least a center-right nation. Given how volatile public preferences are, I’m not so sure any more. I’d like to see some convincing evidence of it in the voting booths across the land. There should be more Republican victories, landslides, etc, and the libertarians should be making greater headway on the national political stage.
Gallup’s efforts at measuring political preferences (here) are summarized in the nearby figure. But the problem with their ideological categories is that ‘moderate’ means different things to a voting Democrat than to an Independent or Republican. This is even evident on these pages where out-and-out socialists declare themselves to be middle roaders and moderates. Understanding such self-labeling biases explains away the election results.
A preferable, but more expensive, approach is to have respondents state preferences about ideological tenets, and from that determine their membership in one of Gallup’s five categories. This is important not only for understanding a more accurate political breakdown of the country, but also to prevent conservative feel-good analyses like this one from the Capitol Research Center – a conservative ‘think tank’ and media watchdog.
Nevertheless, CRC is correct in its characterization of the lamestream’s performance in biased journalism, as it reports that “the media’s most insidious power is the power to ignore.” Devoting air time and column inches to their favorite liberal agendas has been well documented. Googling ‘liberal bias in media’ will give you a snootful for both sides of the argument. I just want to leave you with the notion that there is no convincing evidence that conservatives and conservative ideals are gaining in these days of our country’s fundamental transformation.