Saturday, January 14, 2012

Conservative: More or Less

Yet another poll confirms what the poll before it confirmed:  Americans self-identify as conservative over liberal by a margin of 2-to-1.  Meanwhile, moderates, the group the elites of every ideological flavor trumpet as the truest source of political wisdom and the real deciders of the political course the country will actually take, continues to shrink.

The fact that the numbers of self-described moderates continues to shrink rings true.  Our politics do seem more and more polarized.  But that conservatives outnumber liberals 2-to-1 warrants skepticism.  If that were actually so, then how on earth did we elelct this president, this Senate, and even the House until just a year and a half ago?

Unfortunately, for pollsters anyway, to ask someone if they are conservative has become something like asking them if they enjoy and follow the NFL.  The answer is very likely to be "Yes."  But that answer tells us very little to almost nothing about whether or not they support an active or restrained federal government.

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