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Gallup: Conservatives outnumber liberals, but gap is closing

By Sommer Brokaw
Gallup: Conservatives outnumber liberals, but gap is closing
President Donald Trump acknowledged applause as he concluded his remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference last year in Maryland. A Gallup Poll released Tuesday shows that Americans still lean conservative over liberal though liberals have made gains in recent years. File Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Americans still lean conservative over liberal, but liberals have made gains, as a majority of Democrats identify as liberal for the first time, a Gallup Poll said Tuesday.

Thirty-five percent of Americans have described their political ideology as conservative for the past two years, the poll said, compared to 26 percent as liberal. Another 35 percent describe themselves as moderate.

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Conservatives have outnumbered liberals since Gallup's baseline measurement in 1992, but the gap has narrowed from 19 percentage points to nine points in recent years.

Meanwhile, the percentage of Americans identifying as liberal has risen from 17 percent in 1992 to currently 26 percent. The rising percentage of liberals was offset by the shrinking percentage of moderates, a segment that shrunk from 43 percent to 35 percent over the same period. The rate of conservatives stayed between 36 percent and 40 percent, before decreasing to 35 percent in the past two years.

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The percentage of Democrats identifying as liberal sat at 51 percent in 2018, up from 50 percent in 2017 and marking the first time the party has been majority liberal.

In 1994, nearly half of Democrats identified as moderate with equal percentages, at 25 percent, calling themselves liberal and conservative.

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The majority of Republicans identify as conservative, with 73 percent of Republicans identifying as conservative in 2018.

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The number of Republicans identifying as conservative has risen 15 percentage points since 1994.

Independents are largely moderate, but lean more towards conservative than liberal with an edge of six percentage points in conservatives' favor in recent years.

Results are based on a random sample of 13,852 adults with a margin of error of 1 percentage point.

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