In October of last year, I had a post titled The Conservative Ascendency, which detailed the ideological dominance of Conservatism. I even had a second post, The Conservative Ascendency Continues, which furthered the trend of the nation towards Conservatism. Well, here we are again for another installment of Conservative Ascendency.
So, where to start, aside to say that the number of people who identify themselves as Conservative continues to grow.
What is more interesting to me is the view of the political leanings of the parties. For instance, we see that self-identified Dems are staying liberal, while self-identified Republicans are becoming more Conservative. No epiphany there, except that Independents are continuing to trend Conservative as well. This is particularly interesting when we look at it though this particular political cycle. Since 2008, Independents have shifted 6 points in self-identifying as Conservative (2010: 36%/ 2008: 30%).
What is even more fascinating is the perception of the parties, especially since 2008. When asked whether the Dems were too liberal, too conservative, or about right, the tallies revealed that 49% felt that the Dems were too liberal- a 10 point jump from 2008. Too conservative came in at 10%- a 2 point jump from 2008, and about right tallied at 38%- a 12% drop from 2008. Clearly, this 22 point shift in perception belongs to Obama and the current Congress under the leadership of Pelosi and Reid.
As for the GOP, the responses for too liberal/conservative/about right were just as interesting. The GOP was called too liberal only 15% of the time- no change from 2008. 40% called the GOP too conservative- a 3 point drop from 2008. About right jumped 3 points to 41%. Based on the poll, more folks are comfortable with the ideology of the GOP than with where the Dems are going, which shouldn’t come as a surprise with the continued ascendency of Conservatism in the country.
But when focusing on the Dems, the shift in the other perceptions- to include within the Dems themselves- is striking. In 2008, 40% of Independents saw the Dems as too liberal, whereas the number is now at 52%- most Independents find the Dems too liberal. GOP perceptions of the Dems has shifted 8 points to 85% too liberal, but the Dems view has only changed 1 point. In 2008, 11% called the Dem party too liberal. Today, only 12% call it such.
So why is this important? First off, it shows that Dems are comfortable with liberalism, but it also shows that Independents are growing ever more concerned with the ideology of the Dem party. I often hear folks, especially liberals, who disregard Generic Congressional Polls. Their contention is that the GOP is not doing much to gain on the losses of the Dems. Au contraire mon frère. This is the failing of the left in understanding what is going on right now in the nation.
The party’s political identification is becoming ever more important, and for the Dems, liberalism and Dem affiliation is becoming ever more blurred. So, as the nation continues to shift to the right as the identify with Conservative ideals, the liberal tie to the Dems becomes more of a hindrance. We’ve known for many cycles now that the Independents are key to any electoral victory. If Independents shift to the right, and they are, then obviously the Dems will pay a political price.
And it appears that they will indeed pay a price:
Obama Approval: Approve 45.9% / Disapprove 48.9
Right track/Wrong track: RT 30.9% / WT 62.2%