Reminder: Most people are conservatives

The current AP/Roper poll indicates most of us are “moderates”, but that’s not true. The sample – and how you ask the question – is very important. AP/Roper consistently shows one-third of the population describes themselves as moderate, while the George Washington University Battleground Poll consistently shows almost two-thirds of registered likely voters are somewhat or very conservative.

Only 2 percent describe themselves as moderate in the Battleground Poll. How can the discrepancy be explained?

Update: The Sept. 2010 Politico GWU Battleground Poll (PDF, 81KB)  was released this morning and I missed it. Question D3 reveals 6 percent moderate. Keep reading below for a screen shot of question D3.

In a recent blog post, Rick Green at the Hartford Courant simply copy and pastes one section from page 54 of a 65 page release with current and past poll results in an attempt to prove a point. The question (G11a) simply asks, generally speaking, do you consider yourself a liberal, moderate, or conservative? If – and only if – you answered liberal or conservative, the poll taker is directed to dig deeper and determine if you are somewhat or strongly liberal or conservative.

The AP/Roper poll throws a wide net, asking 1,000 adults the question. It did not matter if those asked are registered voters or even likely to vote.

The April 2010 Battleground Poll – of which I’ve referred to in multiple blog posts – asks their question a bit differently and queries 1,000 registered, likely voters.

If you only give respondents three options – conservative, liberal or moderate – I’m certain a good percentage would choose moderate to distance themselves from what is described by the media as the “far” right and left. They choose the safe “moderate” option.

Battleground takes a much better approach, immediately providing respondents with six options – very conservative, somewhat conservative, moderate, somewhat liberal, very liberal or unsure – and on top of that, the question is specific to politics and government. They clearly provide the same opportunity to chose “moderate.”

For the Battleground Poll question – when thinking about politics and government, do you consider yourself to be… – results have been consistent as well, showing a combined six in 10 registered, likely voters consider themselves either somewhat or very conservative. Very few – 2 percent in the April poll – chose “moderate” in the Battleground Poll. Most people are not “in the middle.”

As noted above, the Sept. 2010 results for question D3.

Discuss among yourselves…

7 replies
  1. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    Frankly, I think these labels are too narrow and may be far from reality. I believe we have a spectrum of views. I am conservative on some issues and liberal on others. That might be true of a lot of people.

  2. PatRiot
    PatRiot says:

    I think if we look close, most people are conservative because they rally around the things that politicians lack – common sense and respect.

  3. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Thanks, chris, for the poll reference.  For anyone that wants the COMPLETE poll, it is here:… Check it out: it is full of nuggets of information, even if the sample size is small.


    How do I explain the poll?  The story you reference essentially used question 94 as the basis for the story: "Do you consider yourself to be a supporter of the Tea Party movement, or not?"  There is no question about "what does the Tea party represent?", now is there?  Look at questions 17 and 18 and 20 (no idea where 19 went), showing the great dissatisfaction with members of Congress (no party mentioned).  This is precisely what the Tea party is about.  Could these people simply not know they are of like minds with the Tea party?  Look where their anger is directed in question 21.


    I am just picking out the non partisan questions in reference to the Tea party's more general "throw the bums out" regardless of party motif.  The fact that both parties take it on the chin is also in keeping with the Tea party idea.  Of course, being the party in power in both houses and the presidency, this will hurt the Dems the most.  Particularly if the economy stalls even longer while deficits grow.


    Rasmussen has some interesting data that is a bit different

  4. Steve M
    Steve M says:

    As a reminder, this is not a discussion forum. Please try to use the link feature available when posting comments instead of super-long links.

    If Dims and Chris would like their own forum to discuss things back and forth, I'd almost be willing to host it for free.

Comments are closed.