The Conservative Ascendency Still Continues…

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%).

Dems stay liberal, the GOP is more conservative, and Independents are going conservative.

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%


9 thoughts on “The Conservative Ascendency Still Continues…

  1. Hey Gorilla – good to see you back.

    From what I can tell, things have started to stabilize. I admit that there is a perception that democrats have gotten too liberal. Now – I say perception – because the right-wing media portrays Obama as far more liberal than he actually is.

    You will most definitely pick up some seats in November – but I am still betting dems will retain control of both houses.

    But, beware hubris – my side is suffering from a bit of that now – if you get too gleeful about conservative gains I suspect it will swing right back the other way. The middle is very very soft these days.

    — hippieprof

    1. I would contend that the middle is disappearing in this cycle.

      I understand you position, though I think it is ignoring reality. Independents are almost in perfect unison with the GOP right now- that certainly does not bode well for you.

      You’re only saving grace is that this isn’t a Presidential election cycle…

  2. Focus groups indicate independents are souring on Obama quickly

    He noted several results that surprised him. “Independents are now thinking about the same issues that Republicans are, and their thinking is virtually indistinguishable from Republicans,” he said. “Independents are really engaged, they are really paying attention. That is not normal; usually independents are a little tuned out.”

    He said that changes in independents’ perceptions of Obama can largely be attributed to a pair of key events. The first was the health-care legislation, “not the content but the way it was adopted. It was backroom politics, smoke-filled rooms, deals.”

    The second was the Gulf: “They really looked at him and drew a different conclusion. They don’t see managerial experience; they started seeing that he hasn’t really managed the crisis.” The focus groups in Florida and Arkansas seemed most focused on the president’s response to the spill.

  3. And it continues…

    Poll: Majority think Obama handling oil spill same or worse than Katrina
    While there has been little change among Democrats and Republicans here, dissatisfaction has grown among independent voters. Nearly six in ten — 58% — report the president has disappointed them, and 34% view the president as meeting their expectations or going above and beyond them. 8% are unsure.

    In Marist’s March survey, 48% within this key voting block thought the president was not living up to their standards while 45% reported he either met or surpassed them.

  4. Dissatisfaction with Obama Grows … Independents Key Players
    Mr. Obama can’t even look to his approval rating for a silver lining. Voters divide about the job the president is doing in office. Currently, 45% of registered voters nationwide disapprove of the president’s job performance while 44% approve. 11% are unsure. Mr. Obama’s approval rating equals his lowest rating — 44% — which he received in Marist’s February survey.

    The president continues to have a tough time winning over independent voters. In fact, there is a 12 percentage point spread between independents who disapprove and those who approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing in office. Nearly half — 49% — disapprove of the president’s performance while 37% approve. 15% are unsure how to rate him. Three months ago, just 6 percentage points separated independents who praised and those who berated the president’s job performance. 45% disapproved, and 39% approved. 16% were unsure.

    Looking at Democrats across the country, there has been little change. 75% applaud the president while 14% disapprove. 11% are unsure. In March, 77% of Democrats gave Mr. Obama high marks while 15% thought he was falling short. 8%, at that time, were unsure how to rate him.

    Fewer members of the GOP, compared with Marist’s March survey, disapprove of President Obama’s job performance. 78% now hold this view while 85% did so three months ago. However, the proportion of those who approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing is relatively unchanged. 14% of the national GOP currently give the president high marks while 11% did the same three months ago. More Republicans are unsure how to rate the president. 8% cannot currently weigh in compared with 4% in March.

  5. 55 Percent of Likely Voters Find ‘Socialist’ an Accurate Label of Obama?

    The latest poll by Democracy Corps, the firm of James Carville and Stan Greenberg, has Republicans leading on the generic ballot among likely voters, 48 percent to 42 percent.

    Deep in the poll, they ask, “Now, I am going to read you a list of words and phrases which people use to describe political figures. For each word or phrase, please tell me whether it describes Barack Obama very well, well, not too well, or not well at all.”

    On “too liberal,” 35 percent of likely voters say it describes Obama “very well,” 21 percent say “well,” 21 percent say “not too well,” and 17 percent say “not well at all.” In other words, 56 percent of likely voters consider Obama too liberal.

    When asked about “a socialist,” 33 percent of likely voters say it describes Obama “very well,” 22 percent say “well,” 15 percent say “not too well,” and 25 percent say “not well at all.”

    In other words, 55 percent of likely voters think “socialist” is a reasonably accurate way of describing Obama.

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