As readers may remember, I’ve been monitoring the George Washington University Battleground Poll for quite some time. In August I wrote about the July results showing a 2 point increase in the number of registered voters who considered themselves conservative or very conservative. This week we had 4 point move.
Previous results of the exact same question has shown between 57 and 59 percent of those polled considered themselves somewhat conservative or very conservative. The quick chart I posted in August – click to enlarge – shows results back to October 2004.
In the most recent poll (PDF, 70 KB)of 1,000 registered likely voters taken during the second week of December, those considering themselves conservative jumped 4 percent to 63 percent in less than five months. This is significant considering what I wrote back in August.
Although the number of respondents who answered D3 stating they were somewhat or very conservative increased 2 percentage points, I really do not think this is a direct result of the Obama administration policies during the first six months of their administration. To me, it looks like the trend line is not moving too much. In the 2004 and 2006 surveys, 59 percent identified themselves as somewhat or very conservative – same as today.
Maybe the Bush hatred or the Obama love drove the percentage down to 57 percent in the fall, but we’re right back where we have been. I’ll be interested as always to check out the next result for question D3. If it pops to 61 percent, we may have more to discuss.
With the percentage going up to 63 percent, I’m assuming we have something to discuss. Even during the big Bush hatred years between 2004 and 2008, there was little or no movement in the number of those describing themselves as conservative.
As a reminder, this poll question provides a perfect out for everyone. What to be described as conservative … you have two options. Liberal … two options. Swinging both ways depending on the issue? You’re covered too since you can choose moderate or unsure. Click to enlarge the current results for question D3.
Other interesting results [from July 2009]…
- 51% think the country is on the wrong track, 38% right track
- Job rating – 40% strongly approve of President Obama and 37% disapprove strongly
- Congress job approval – 57% disapprove, and 34% approve
The same questions for the December 2009 poll…
- 57% think the country is on the wrong track, 34% right track
- Job rating – 37% strongly approve of President Obama and 41% disapprove strongly
- Congress job approval – 68% disapprove, and 24% approve
There are also some questions that now include Sarah Palin, including references to her book. Check out the entire poll – it’s an easy read.
Bruce Walker over at American Thinker has a piece on the poll earlier today, and Rush Limbaugh has mentioned the poll a couple of times during his show today.
Walker has more details about previous results from the same question that I seem to have missed. There has been a couple of occasions where the conservatives have been up over 60 percent.
[I]n Battleground Poll results since June 2002 the percentage of Americans who have described themselves as conservative: June 2002 (59%), September 2003 (59%), April 2004 (60%), June 2004 (59%), September 2004 (60%), October 2005 (61%), March 2006 (59%), December 2007 (58%), July 2007 (63%), May 2008 (62%), August 2008 (60%), September 2008 (59%), and October 2008 (56%).
He also notes, with my emphasis added…
In the November 2008 Battleground Poll, for the first and only time, the straight question of “conservative” or “liberal” was not posed to respondents. Instead, the poll asked respondents two separate questions: fiscal ideology was asked on Question D6 and social ideology was asked on Question D7. The Battleground Poll was clearly intending to refine Question D3. What were the results? Fiscal conservatives in Question D6 were 69% of respondents. Social conservatives were 53% of respondents and social liberals were 39% of respondents. While that sounds like social conservatism is a weak link, that is misleading: a whopping 34% of all Americans described themselves as “very conservative” on social issues, by far the largest very intense group in any Battleground Poll.
What does this mean for American politics today? It ought to boldly empower conservatives. The “right,” which every Democrat leader reflexively attacks whenever political opposition to their plans grows strong, is the overwhelming majority of Americans. This explains why the left’s ballot initiatives in California last year failed, in some cases, in every single county of the state and why, in liberal Maine, the gay marriage ballot measure failed. This also explains why Obama runs away from “labels” (all leftists do, and have for many years.)
Update: Malkin discusses a Rasmussen poll on who considers themselves Democrats or Republicans on Jan. 4, 2010.
A note about the poll below. If you choose “I don’t believe the poll” tell us why in the comments section below.