Conservatives outnumber liberals in US, but by shrinking margin

Conservatives outnumber liberals in US, but by shrinking margin
© Getty

The number of Americans who consider themselves liberal is gaining on the total who identify as conservative instead, according to new poll.

The amount of Americans who identify as conservative leads those who describe themselves as liberal by 11 percentage points nationwide in the Gallup survey out Tuesday.

Thirty-six percent called themselves conservative in 2016, while 34 percent said they were moderate and 25 percent said that they were liberal.


A similar Gallup survey in 2015, however, found a 15-point difference between self-described conservative and liberal Americans.

Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they were conservative in 2015, versus 34 percent who said moderate and 23 percent who said liberal.

Gallup concluded that the rise in those describing themselves as liberal is mainly the result of fewer Americans calling themselves moderate instead.

The pollsters began surveying Americans’ self-professed political ideology in 1992, with the gap between conservatives and liberals at its widest in 1996.

Forty percent said they were conservative that year, a 21-point edge over 19 percent who said they were liberal instead. Another 37 percent said they were moderate 21 years ago.

Gallup added that the percentage of Americans identifying as conservative has generally ranged from 36-40 percent since 1992.

Respondents who describes themselves as liberal, meanwhile, has varied from between 17 and 25 percent percent, while those calling themselves moderate has ranged between 34 and 43 percent.

The polling firm conducted its latest survey of 17,055 adults nationwide via cell and landline telephone interviews across 17 separate polls in 2016. It has a 1 percent margin of error.