Poll: Majority of Democrats Want Their Party to Become Less Liberal

Emily Ward | December 13, 2018 | 1:06pm EST
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(CNSNews.com) -- The majority of Democrats would like their party to become less liberal and more moderate, according to a Gallup poll published on Wednesday.

The poll asked Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents, “If you had to choose, would you rather see the Democratic Party become more liberal or become more moderate?”

Fifty-four percent of respondents said they would prefer a more moderate Democratic Party, while only 41% preferred a more liberal party -- 5% of respondents had no opinion.

Republicans, on the other hand, expressed support for a more conservative Republican Party.

When Gallup asked Republicans and Republican-leaning independents whether they would rather see their party become more conservative or more moderate, 57% said they would prefer a more conservative Republican party and only 37% wanted a more moderate party -- 6% had no opinion.

The poll was conducted Nov. 13-18, less than two weeks after the 2018 midterm elections, in which Democrats gained a majority in the House of Representatives and Republicans retained control of the Senate.


Gallup compared the results of the survey to a similar poll it conducted in January 2005, after the re-election of then-President George W. Bush. When asked the same question, a slightly larger majority of Democrats wanted a more moderate party.

“At that time,” Gallup wrote, “a slightly higher 59% of Democrats favored a more moderate shift, while 35% called for a more liberal party.”

Despite stating their preference for a more moderate party, most Democrats characterized themselves as ideologically liberal during the same time period. As Gallup wrote, “the Democratic Party’s rank-and-file did indeed become increasingly likely to identify as liberal after 2005.”

By contrast, Republicans have remained “much more stable” in their self-identification as ideological conservatives; Gallup reported that “over the past decade, conservative identification among Republicans has been at roughly 70% and only slightly below that level before then.”

According to Gallup, as the United States has become more politically polarized, “Democrats have become more likely to describe their political views as liberal, while most Republicans continue to think of themselves as conservative.”

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