3 conservatives for every 2 liberals

Friday, October 14, 2005
I've just read the Third Way press release.

Is this true?

For Democrats, the ramifications of the great sorting-out are mostly negative as there are three conservatives for every two liberals.

I guess I knew that self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals, but I'm also used to seeing numbers showing the Democratic Party to be larger than the Republican Party.

This is interesting, from Barone:
There has been a Great Sorting Out, with many people changing party identification, and the winners from this process have been the Republicans: Galston and Kamarck show that 38 percent of Republicans say they used to think of themselves as Democrats, while 22 percent–a substantially smaller number—of Democrats say they used to think of themselves as Republicans.


David Thomson said...

“...by urging Democrats to confront the current myths of the party, stop hiding behind domestic policy and honestly confront national security”

This will never happen. Too many Democrats are hostile towards national security issues. At a gut level, they believe the United States doesn't really have any enemies. All our troubles are the result of well deserved “blow back.” Those who wish to harm us are victims of capitalist exploitation. Americans merely need to confront the abuses of Halliburton and the evil oil companies and everything will be fine.

Knucklehead said...


People who self-identify as "liberal" or "conservative" do not always affiliate themselves with either party.

We can't automatically count the self-identified conservatives as "Republicans" or the self-identified liberals as Democrats (although I suppose the case can be made that that doing so would be the superior method if one were to place wagers on elections).

Too lazy to look it up but I believe the numbers over the past few years have indicated that party affiliation has reached a rough parity.

The case made, or at least part of the case made, by the Third-Way report is that Democrats cannot win by reaching out to none but self-identified liberals. They must alter their platform to be more appealing to self-identified conservatives. There just ain't enough self-identified liberals available to win national elections.

David Thomson said...

“...is that Democrats cannot win by reaching out to none but self-identified liberals.”

The Daily Kos kids and their radical friends have absolutely no interest whatsoever in reaching out to political moderates. They embrace a scorched earth policy when it comes to the presidential nomination. No candidate who is truly “pro war” will be deemed acceptable. This is their number one issue.

The so-called mature Democrats may only now be realizing the extent of the threat from the Kos brats. In the past, the adults were able to shut down the money flow. The Internet, however, makes it real easy to raise funds. The Daily Kos supposedly has a minimum of 80,000 true believing followers. These individuals merely need to donate a few dollars via “Pay Pal” or “Amazon.com.” to make a substantial difference.

offworld said...

The Roe Effect and more generally Feminism has hurt Democrats.

In my observation, basic political attitudes are inherited. Those who choose not to breed pass on the chance to influence the next generation.

Family and Religion are the only two institutions capable of standing in opposition to Government. That is why the government-lovers on the left and right continually undermine both. The dimunition or abolition of Family and Religion is the stated aim of Communism for over a century. It is like a virus that if too virulent will kill the host population.

What can be done to create immunity?

MeaninglessHotAir said...

Smart Parrot -- Welcome to our world!

I think what Offworld says is exactly correct. If you want to understand politics, forget rationality, forget stated positions. Forget "left" and "right". Much better determinants are family and religion. Most Jews view themselves as Democrats, particularly if their entire family experience in this country has been in NY or LA only, and that's one big reason why the Democrats continue to have so much support in those two areas, and in S. Florida. One big reason that this is changing is that the current thinly veiled anti-Israeli policy of the raucous wing of the Democratic party is causing a lot of cognitive dissonance among Jews who really want to remain Democrats but who also maintain a sense of self-preservation.

Self-identification as "liberal" or "conservative" doesn't mean much either. There was an article which addressed these very points in The Economist some months ago. Whereas more Americans who used to self-identify as "liberal" now self-identify as "conservative", at the same time support for key "liberal" issues like gay marriage or abortion rights is increasing. In other words, the very meaning of the words is changing.

David Thomson,

I think your statement is exactly correct. I was talking to a friend of mine just the other day who told me almost exactly what you are saying, that all we need to do is listen to people with true understanding and there will no longer be any threat from jihadis. He deeply believes this. It's a matter of faith for him. There Iis a fundamental split here on our views of what the world is really like. I'm certain that it's full of sharks and murderers. He's sure it's full of sweetness and light if you try hard enough.

Knucklehead said...


There are many among us who definitely seem to believe that the issue is not why there are so many nasty, murderous scum in the world but, rather, why "we" (the US, superior westerners, whatever) aren't "nice enough" to make the murderousness disappear.

They are a sort of, typically, non-religious uber-christians of some sort. They've taken the "mite in your own eye" thing to some fanciful extreme.

Do you have any hints about where this comes from? How can people live in the world and fail to realize that their own behavior is not the cause of all effects? There is no behavior nice enough to turn sociopaths into kittens. Why do they persist in the belief that there is?

Color me baffled.

Syl said...

Yeah, well some people are turned off by the idea that Religion and Family are The Way. If you ain't got Religion and your notion of Family is dysfunctional, it's all the liberals fault and you're doomed.

Believe it or not, there are liberals who do believe there are bad people on this earth. They just have unserious ideas about how to handle them.

And many of them do honestly care about a homeless man on the street and want to seriously know how a rising tide is going to help this specific man.

But yes, right now, the Democrats biggest problem is admitting there is a war and actually, er, fighting it.

terrye said...

The Democrats' biggest problem is believing their greatest enemy is George Bush and not some jihadi.

The Republicans' biggest problem is this bizarre and self destructive obsession with the Supreme Court.

But the whole idea of cosnervative and liberal is so subjective that I wonder if people would really agree on their definitions.

offworld said...

I identify myself a classical liberal. If we were fighting to preserve the republic, I would think of myself also as a conservative -- seeking to conserve what our ancestors have bequethed to us. However, I often feel like the republic is long gone and it would actually be a revolution of sorts to reestablish the kind of government that I would wish to leave to my progeny. It will not come about with a couple judicious supreme court appointments although this would seem to be the most promising, efficient and bloodless approach. I can understand why some self-identified conservatives are all riled up over the supreme court.