October 26, 2009

"Conservatives Maintain Edge as Top Ideological Group."

Polls Gallup.

40% of Americans say they are "conservative."  In second place: moderate — 36%. "Liberal" comes in at 20%.

On particular issues:
  • Perceptions that there is too much government regulation of business and industry jumped from 38% in September 2008 to 45% in September 2009.
  • The percentage of Americans saying they would like to see labor unions have less influence in the country rose from 32% in August 2008 to a record-high 42% in August 2009.
  • Public support for keeping the laws governing the sale of firearms the same or making them less strict rose from 49% in October 2008 to 55% in October 2009, also a record high. (The percentage saying the laws should become more strict -- the traditionally liberal position -- fell from 49% to 44%.)
  • The percentage of Americans favoring a decrease in immigration rose from 39% in June/July 2008 to 50% in July 2009.
  • The propensity to want the government to "promote traditional values" -- as opposed to "not favor any particular set of values" -- rose from 48% in 2008 to 53% in 2009. Current support for promoting traditional values is the highest seen in five years.
  • The percentage of Americans who consider themselves "pro-life" on abortion rose from 44% in May 2008 to 51% in May 2009, and remained at a slightly elevated 47% in July 2009.
  • Americans' belief that the global warming problem is "exaggerated" in the news rose from 35% in March 2008 to 41% in March 2009.
I guess the way to get people to become more conservative is to give power to liberals. Bring the conservatives back and not only will they start appalling us again, but we'll soon be dreaming dreamy dreams of liberal saviors.

AND: A poll shows the  Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman taking the lead in that New York's 23rd congressional district special election.

53 comments:

traditionalguy said...

These are not typos are they. I can hardly wait until Time, Newsweek, or CNBC runs this story without spinning backwards.

Rialby said...

Althouse - bring the conservatives back...

Remind me again about when they were in power? I hope you're not counting George "The State should move when people feel pain" Bush as a conservative.

Geoff Matthews said...

Familiarity breeds contempt.

jeff said...

Yeah, but like Rialby says, they may campaign as conservatives, but as soon as they have power, they spend like liberals.

Peter V. Bella said...

CNN- the Comedy News Network is fact checking these figures.

MSNBC is having a special- Olbermann unleashed to viciously and rabidly attack Gallup. Olbermann has been provided with extra slobber, spittle, and drool for this. Chris Matthews will gush like the hormonal teenage girl that she is.

ABC,NBC, and CBS entertainment will, well, they will, ah, kind of dispute the figures, but not really, giving O the benefit of the doubt. He did win didn't he?

Fox News will report this. They will be labeled as evil moneygrubbers by the administration.

fivewheels said...

Some of these things don't necessarily mean what they sound like they mean, though. For instance, the percentage who think "there is too much government regulation of business" jumped not because people are more conservative, but because the actual government regulation of business jumped. So if everyone maintained the same opinion, agreement with that statement would still have to increase.

The pro-life one is interesting, though.

Corky Boyd said...

Wow! Only one news operation serving the 40% conservative share. And CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, NPR splitting up the remainder. No wonder they are having ratings problems.

In the "good old days" of regulation, the government would call that destructive competition. And they would move to cut it back -- such as only allowing two airlines to serve a city pair rather than three. Ditto for the regualted truckers.

Perhaps the FCC wiil order the "public convenience and necessity" to be met and force two or three of the networks to become conservative.

HAH!

Bruce Hayden said...

Wow! Only one news operation serving the 40% conservative share. And CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, NPR splitting up the remainder. No wonder they are having ratings problems.

I am not sure if they are really splitting up the remaining 60%, rather, the liberal 20% and part of the moderate 36%. If that is split down the middle, they only have 38% to split up, not 60%.

So the joke about Fox's niche market - half of it, is likely an understatement.

But I do like the idea that maybe there are too many liberal outlets and some of them should be shut down for the good of all of them. And, then, which ones to sacrifice? NBC/ MSNBC are in, since they are owned by GE and is trading pandering for the Obama Administration for a lot of goodies for the parent company. And, NPR and PBS are locked in, since they are the liberal conceit of sophistication. I don't know how they would pick between ABC and CBS, except maybe dump both of them. CNN? I think its a keeper because of its Headline News, but no wonder Turner wants back in charge.

Robert Cook said...

"Perceptions that there is too much government regulation of business and industry jumped from 38% in September 2008 to 45% in September 2009."

Even as too little and too lax government regulation has brought about the economic holocaust we are presently enduring, among other ills.

"The percentage of Americans saying they would like to see labor unions have less influence in the country rose from 32% in August 2008 to a record-high 42% in August 2009."

Even as the influence of labor unions in American life, not to mention the number of union workers in America, sinks to all time lows. Hey, Americans! You can thank the labor movement for most of the paltry (but vanishing) job benefits you take for granted today. You can also kiss those benefits goodbye, (along with your jobs).

"The propensity to want the government to 'promote traditional values' -- as opposed to 'not favor any particular set of values' -- rose from 48% in 2008 to 53% in 2009. Current support for promoting traditional values is the highest seen in five years."

Even as the Forrest Gumps of America fulminate against gub'mint tyranny and Obamafascisocialism, they want the men in black (not black men) to "promote traditional (sic) values." How's that gonna play out, bubbas, without the imposition of gub'mint intrusion into your lives? What are "traditional values," anyway, and who sez they don't still hold most of America in a paralyzing hammerlock (or a comforting embrace, depending on your point of view)?

The percentage of Americans who consider themselves 'pro-life' on abortion rose from 44% in May 2008 to 51% in May 2009, and remained at a slightly elevated 47% in July 2009."

You can bet these "pro-lifers" are more than happy to deny money to pay for healthcare for all, while they give thumbs up to their life savings being funneled into a war machine that is grinding up the lives and bodies of humans in other lands who never did us harm.

This is a testament to the power of propaganda to make people see reality in falsehood and in falsehood great comfort. Either that or Americans are the dumbest fuckin' motherfuckers on the planet.

Bruce Hayden said...

One of the reasons that Obama's popularity seems to be almost in free fall is that he was able to attract a lot of those moderates by appearing to be safe, clean, and middle of the road. But, then he seems to have taken his election as a mandate for far left policies, and that just isn't where this country is at.

LonewackoDotCom said...

...and, on tonight's Rachel Maddow show, she and Wonkette will be discussing Gallup's "poll".

But, seriously, the "tea partiers" and other extreme fiscal conservatives will probably try to take comfort from this poll, but if people were actually asked about the impacts of various policies pushed by those folks they'd find people are much more "liberal" than might be thought. Also, the opposition to imm. of any kind goes against the wishes of many tea party leaders and backers.

Sofa King said...

This is a testament to the power of propaganda to make people see reality in falsehood and in falsehood great comfort. Either that or Americans are the dumbest fuckin' motherfuckers on the planet.

Keep fucking that chicken!

Shanna said...

"The percentage of Americans saying they would like to see labor unions have less influence in the country rose from 32% in August 2008 to a record-high 42% in August 2009."

Even as the influence of labor unions in American life, not to mention the number of union workers in America, sinks to all time lows.

I think this number has changed because American’s got a good look at what some of those labor guys were actually making and said “holy crap! I have a masters degree and don’t make that” And then they saw a bunch of money get spent to keep these organizations afloat, so those guys could keep making that kind of money, and know it's going going to end up coming out of their, smaller, paycheck. No wonder that number changed.

AC245 said...

The White House responded to these results by pointing out that Gallup is not a real polling organization.

fivewheels said...

The 40-36-20 split is interesting to me as well. It looks like an artifact of media bias, really. I think we all know there aren't really twice as many conservatives as liberals out there, but the liberal tendency to describe liberalism as "moderate" and conservatism as "extreme" leads to this result. A false landslide.

It doesn't matter in any way, of course, but I do think it shows what's going on. Is there another explanation?

I'm not a big fan of news items on polls. You have to look too hard at them sometimes to get at any truth.

Shanna said...

The 40-36-20 split is interesting to me as well. It looks like an artifact of media bias, really. I think we all know there aren't really twice as many conservatives as liberals out there, but the liberal tendency to describe liberalism as "moderate" and conservatism as "extreme" leads to this result. A false landslide.

I do think liberals are more likely to refer to themselves as “moderate” because they think it sounds better.

Robert Cook said...

Bruce Hayden said,

"One of the reasons that Obama's popularity seems to be almost in free fall is that he was able to attract a lot of those moderates by appearing to be safe, clean, and middle of the road. But, then he seems to have taken his election as a mandate for far left policies, and that just isn't where this country is at."

Bruce, this is the exact opposite of the truth. Obama won because he presented himself as a voice of "change, (the tiredest tool in the campaigner's utility kit), as, yes, a "progressive," albeit a very moderate and nice and "pragmatic" one.

Well, he's moderate and "pragmatic," alright...he's a moderate and pragmatic Republican. He serves the same interests as the Bush Imperium, and he has maintained most of Bush's policies. The giveaway of public money to Wall Street and the banks was initiated by Bush and serves to enrich the same masters whom Bush served.

Obama's poll numbers are dropping because his base is beginning to recognize they've been had, and that to the degree anything changes, it will be for more of the same, but with a nicer presentation.

Of course, they have only themselves to blame for believing his lies. One had only to look at his legislative record to know he would do nothing to rock the boat of the plutocratic ship of state.

edutcher said...

Robert Cook said...

Even as too little and too lax government regulation has brought about the economic holocaust we are presently enduring, among other ills.

Surely, you jest. This mess was brought about by the Clinton crowd aided and abetted by The Demos in Congress, including Senator Barack you know who.

In any case, toss in even a third of the moderates as right-leaning (it's probably half) and it's bad news for Pelosi Galore and Dingy Harry.

.../And to think, the White House was chortling over the NY23 race just last week. As the Greeks say, be careful of that for which you wish..

Beta Conservative said...

How valid are polls done by advocacy groups? I ask that because the best outcome I've seen for Hoffman in NY 23 comes from a poll commissioned by a group that would love to see him win (Club For Growth)as Ann notes in this post.

I always have doubts about these boutique polls, but in this case I hope they're right.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Even as too little and too lax government regulation has brought about the economic holocaust we are presently enduring, among other ills.


Wrong. There is/was plenty of government regulation and interference with the financial system. The problem was that government was forcing all the wrong business practices upon the financial institutions. Specifically CRA and forcing Banks to make crap loans they would never have made without government interference.

If the Gov. had just kept out of the business, we would not be in the mess we are now.

Cedarford said...

Polls may give some insight, but they have to be weighed against other attitudes. 40% may be conservative, but the approval of Congressional Republicans..seen as a pack of corrupted bootlickers to Wall Street and NYC financiers..and as tools of people who do not believe in evolution - is at 19%.

More may call themselves conservative, traditional values, & "pro-life", like my wife. But such women who will never vote for what she sees as a "Christian Taliban" out to force other women's reproductive choices, are legion. Only in desperate times will she vote for a Republican for Fed Office. Or if she sees the Democrat as hopelessly incompetent or corrupt.

(I myself am "pro-life" but while less visceral about it than the wife is, believe that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. Birth control available. Certain elective late abortions made illegal...and laws to cut down on welfare incentives for the least able to have the most kids because it increases their income and benefits.)

As for unions, there is a strong backlash against overly entitled, too politically connected unions perverting the system as much as Goldman Sachs and the trial lawyers do. But fertile ground exists for a strong resurgence of Unions and Jobs in America protected by the Workers. We have sold them out to an elite that enriches themselves from illegal immigrants and export profits of having Chinese do those jobs once done by American industry. We have the greatest inequality in wealth in America since the three years before the Great Depression.

Robert Cook said...

"This mess was brought about by the Clinton crowd aided and abetted by The Demos in Congress, including Senator Barack you know who."

Do you assume I'm blaming Bush? Well, I am of course...as well as Clinton and Bush Sr. and Reagan. The dismantling of regulations on industry overall, and on the financial industry in particular, has been ongoing since Reagan took office in 1980. We're reaping the results of 28 years of the castration of the regulatory function of government.

c3 said...

I always have a problem with this poll (though its best attribute is its longevity). Would I call myself a "conservative" to a pollster or a "moderate". And how many of my answers to the specific questions would fit into the "conservative" box. And isn't it a bit odd to have a general descriptor ("conservative", "moderate", "liberal") in three parts but the specific questions as "either/or"?

And finally, I worry that "liberal" has a negative connotation and that steers some folks away from that choice. (when will they change the choice to "progressive")

Final aside, what makes opinion change on abortion? Have the basic facts changed at all in the past ?10, ?20... years?

Maguro said...

We have the greatest inequality in wealth in America since the three years before the Great Depression.

Well then, thank goodness we had that Great Depression to even things out a bit. Must've been a welcome tonic to all that nasty inequality.

Jason (the commenter) said...

A poll shows the Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman taking the lead in that New York's 23rd congressional district special election.

Not too shocking, the party has always been strong in the state.

And I don't know how telling this race is for the country, politics is weird in upstate New York. I still remember the openly gay Republican mayor in Plattsburg.

Robert Cook said...

"...forcing Banks to make crap loans they would never have made without government interference."

Yep, those poor banks...forced to make loans they didn't want to make! Poor, poor banks!

Robert Cook said...

"And finally, I worry that 'liberal' has a negative connotation and that steers some folks away from that choice."

I think you and your "worry" are loony. We've only had going on 40 years of slander of "liberals" by reactionary forces in this country; what makes you think the strong, flinty stock who constitute American folk could be influenced to believe lies only because they've been promulgated ad nauseum for decades? You slander the body politic, my friend.

former law student said...

No liberal I know thinks he or she is liberal -- they think they are mainstream, because all their friends think the same way.

Because American manufacturing has largely been outsourced to China and other Third World countries, the bulk of labor union power is in the public employee unions. There is little incentive for their politician-employers to deny them anything come contract renewal time, because the legislatures can easily increase taxes.

Bruce Hayden said...

Obama's poll numbers are dropping because his base is beginning to recognize they've been had, and that to the degree anything changes, it will be for more of the same, but with a nicer presentation.

Keep dreaming that Obama's polling problems are that he isn't liberal enough.

But, I do agree that he did push "Change" - the problem was that no one (except for that lunatic base you are talking about) understood what he had in mind when he talked about "change".

If all those moderates who voted for him had been asked whether they change they wanted was deficits at WWII levels as far as anyone could see, they would have said no.

If all those moderates had been asked if they wanted their health care severely restricted, but increased in price, so that Obama could spread it around a bit, a majority of them would have said no, that isn't the change that they were expecting.

If all those moderates had been asked if the change they wanted was the most corrupt Justice Department, Administration, and Congress since Nixon, most of them would have said no, that wasn't the change they were expecting.

If all those moderates had been asked if the change they wanted was middle and lower class tax hikes, most of them would have said no, that wasn't the change they had in mind.

I can keep this up indefinitely, but the point is that while Obama ran as the Hope and Change candidate, he also ran as a moderate, most of the time, and many of those in the middle failed (or even refused) to see that he was a far left socialist at heart and would surround himself with socialists and Chicago style politics.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think you and your "worry" are loony. We've only had going on 40 years of slander of "liberals" by reactionary forces in this country; what makes you think the strong, flinty stock who constitute American folk could be influenced to believe lies only because they've been promulgated ad nauseum for decades? You slander the body politic, my friend.

Sorry, but truth is a defense against defamation.

former law student said...

"...forcing Banks to make crap loans they would never have made without government interference."

Three-quarters of sub-prime loans were originated by mortgage brokers, not banks. Such loans paid them the biggest commissions. Such high interest loans were bundled into mortgage-backed securities, which paid more to investors than comparable securities, because the Fed deliberately kept interest rates low. Investors either deliberately blinded themselves to the risk of default, or were counting on the housing bubble lasting indefinitely, so that they could profit from default.

Interestingly, the vast majority of sub-prime loans made during the boom were refis.

mariner said...

Robert Cook:
This is a testament to the power of propaganda to make people see reality in falsehood and in falsehood great comfort. Either that or Americans are the dumbest fuckin' motherfuckers on the planet.


Thank you for providing an object example.

garage mahal said...

Specifically CRA and forcing Banks to make crap loans they would never have made without government interference..

Aw man not this zombie lie again. The CRA never made one bank make an unsafe loan. And no bank was ever fined for not making an unsafe loan. Remember?

Pogo said...

40% of Americans say they are conservative, and 36% are moderate?

If that were true, Obama never would have been elected.

If it is in fact true, it matters not a whit, because the left is changing the rules every day, making it impossible to go back to where we were.

Americans finally got a big effing dose of socialism and choked on it, but it's too goddamned late now, and too godamned bad.

Best just to lie back and think of England, whose path we are following to oblivion.

Robert Cook said...

Bruce, your litany of Obama's "socialist" sins are merely the continuation of the theft of the public wealth that has been ongoing for decades, begun in earnest once notorious pinko Ronald Reagan took office.

Obama, much as I deplore him, did not originate any of this, but he certainly seems more than willing to continue the work of his forbears in office, reds all of them to the bone, (though cleverly disguised as agents of America's corporate owners).

Pogo said...

"reds all of them to the bone, (though cleverly disguised as agents of America's corporate owners"

Interesting how you think that 'corporate owners' is somehow the polar opposite of 'reds'. They can be rather complementary.

They in fact made a fine pair in Germany in the 1930s. Remember?

Robert Cook said...

"They in fact made a fine pair in Germany in the 1930s. Remember?"

Yes, I had forgotten the rise of the German Communist party, funded in great part by the German capitalists, and headed by bolshevik hero Adolf Hitler.

Pogo said...

Now you're being cute, Cook.
Think.
It was a type of socialism that had to do with the idea of a bundle of sticks.

I know you can get it.

c3 said...

"what makes you think the strong, flinty stock who constitute American folk could be influenced to believe lies only because they've been promulgated ad nauseum for decades? You slander the body politic, my friend.

Of what "lies" do you speak and promulgated by what nefarious force?

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

The long-term winning position in America is:

a) strong on defence and security
b) very restrained fiscally
c) socially, more or less libertarian

The current crew fail all three; Bush and friends failed the last two.

As to defence and security, there are four core American approaches to international relations:

a)Jeffersonian -- avoid foreign entanglements as much as possible and deal forcefully with whatever foreign conflicts you cannot avoid.

b)Hamiltonian -- our primary international involvement should be commercial and the military used only to guarantee commerce and homeland protection.

c) Wilsonian -- we should build international structures and agreements upon which we can rely for our defence.

d) Jacksonian -- leave me alone to figure out my own life, and I'll generally leave you alone. Start messing up my life and I'll follow you to the ends of the Earth to beat the snot out of you.

American Jacksonians have been quiescent since the fire bombing of Tokyo, and the atom bombing of two other Japanese cities.

Wilsonians dominate in academia, the media, and the bureaucracy.

Jacksonians outnumber the other three groups combined. We will not remain quiet forever.

AJ Lynch said...

"Jacksonian -- leave me alone to figure out my own life, and I'll generally leave you alone. Start messing up my life and I'll follow you to the ends of the Earth to beat the snot out of you."

This would make a good t-shirt!

cubanbob said...

" garage mahal said...
Specifically CRA and forcing Banks to make crap loans they would never have made without government interference..

Aw man not this zombie lie again. The CRA never made one bank make an unsafe loan. And no bank was ever fined for not making an unsafe loan. Remember?"

You are entitled to your opinions but not your facts. The CRA did indeed have that effect along with the Fanny and Freddie and political pressure put on the regulators by groups like ACORN and the Working Families among others. Just remember every bank that failed was supervised by the government. FDIC,OCC,OTS,NCAU,FRB and FDIC. Even now the government is still aiding and abetting crap loans to unqualified home borrowers. And by the way Madoff was blessed by the FTC.

cubanbob said...

" garage mahal said...
Specifically CRA and forcing Banks to make crap loans they would never have made without government interference..

Aw man not this zombie lie again. The CRA never made one bank make an unsafe loan. And no bank was ever fined for not making an unsafe loan. Remember?"

You are entitled to your opinions but not your facts. The CRA did indeed have that effect along with the Fanny and Freddie and political pressure put on the regulators by groups like ACORN and the Working Families among others. Just remember every bank that failed was supervised by the government. FDIC,OCC,OTS,NCAU,FRB and FDIC. Even now the government is still aiding and abetting crap loans to unqualified home borrowers. And by the way Madoff was blessed by the FTC.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Robert Cook complains that, because of forty years of "slander" by "reactionaries" (now there's a value-judgment packed word) liberals stopped calling themselves liberals. Qu'elle dommage. Compare to conservatives, who wear the appellation proudly, year in and year out, regardless of the leftosphere's attempts to make it a cuss word. Speaking of cuss words, have you noticed how few of us wingnuts have taken real exception to the obscene term "teabagger"? Sticks and stones, Robert Cook, sticks and stones.

Mark said...

Yeah, "teabagger" is kind of funny as a derogation. It's like the progs think being filthy and insulting will make the conservatives all insecure and scared, and cause them to crawl back into their caves.

Here's a clue: 40 years of pop culture has pretty much inoculated even the most prim and proper church ladies against the vapors. Instead, yer just pissin' 'em off.

Robert Cook said...

"Robert Cook complains that, because of forty years of "slander" by "reactionaries" (now there's a value-judgment packed word) liberals stopped calling themselves liberals."

Actually, I never said any such thing. I was responding to another poster who worried that "liberal" had a "negative connotation." I think he worries this "negative connotation" has caused "liberals to stop calling themselves liberals," but that's not my worry.

My view is that decades of the purposeful pejorative misuse of the word "libersl" has so confused and degraded the term that, if it ever had any meaning, it certainly no longer does. I think many people whose views are consonant to greater or lesser degree with liberal and progressive ideals simply don't know what the term means and do not correlate their own opinions with the sinister and mysterious creatures they hear called "liberals."


What is clear is that people are declining to identify themselves as "Republican" in increasing numbers:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/20/fewer-people-identify-as_n_326971.html

Seems most folks are sensible enough to not want to be seen as part of a group of frothing jackals.

AllenS said...

frothing jackals

Is that worser than Althouse hillbillies?

Robert Cook said...

Is there a distinction?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Oh dear, is Comrade Cook frothing at the mouth about plutocrats again? Hold on, let me find my violin and start playing The International. I hear it soothes even the heart of the most savage commie.

Robert Cook said...

Hoosier:

In re: your blithe disregard of the plutocrats, I see you've adopted the advice that when rape is inevitable, one should should simply lay back and enjoy it. And, when asked to identify the perpetrator of the rape in a lineup, you ignore the 6 foot hulk in top hat and tails and single out the flea-bitten derelict in moth-eaten salvation army clothes who's got the shakes.

M. Simon said...

Actually the Banks had an out. They sold the loans in bundles to government backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And the stupid (I'm going to repeat myself here) government bought them. The bankers may be greedy. They are not totally stupid.

M. Simon said...

The CRA did this:

The Sordid History of ACORN and the Ties to the Financial Meltdown

ACORN intimidated banks into making high-risk loans to low-credit customers using provisions of the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Chicago ACORN was able to delay and halt the efforts of banks to merge or expand until they had agreed to lower their credit standards and to obtain “counseling” compensation.

===

ACORN Housing Corporation president, George Butts made news by complaining to a House Banking subcommittee that ACORN’s efforts to pressure banks using CRA were still being hamstrung by Fannie and Freddie. Butts also demanded still more data on the race, gender, and income of loan applicants. Many news reports over the ensuing months point to ACORN as the key source of pressure on congress for a further reduction of credit standards at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As a result of this pressure, ACORN was eventually permitted to redraft many of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s loan guideline.

==

At this point, both ACORN and the Clinton administration were working together to impose large numerical targets or “set asides” (really a sort of poor and minority loan quota system) on Fannie and Freddie. ACORN called for at least half of Fannie and Freddie loans to go to low-income customers. At first the Clinton administration offered a set-aside of 30 percent.

Triangle Man said...

Specifically CRA and forcing Banks to make crap loans they would never have made without government interference.

Dont leave out the massive fraud perpetrated on the secondary markets for these bad loans when packaged in derivatives. Banks weren't just making lemonade.