Is There Really a Conservative Majority?

March 15, 2012
As we get closer to the upcoming elections, the question of how to best advance the conservative cause presents itself. Some would argue that elections present an opportunity to reach out to more people with the conservative message, while others insist that ideological considerations take a back seat to actually getting sympathetic politicians elected. Sometimes we come across indications that these two objectives are not mutually exclusive pursuits. In a recent American Thinker article by Bruce Walker, such a case is presented. Walker makes the argument that there is a self identified conservative majority out there ready to be mobilized. He draws that conclusion by looking at a series of five Gallup Polls taken over three years, which broke down ideological self-identification by state. According to Walker:
In August 2009, Gallup data showed that conservatives outnumbered liberals in every single state. In February 2010, Gallup presented polling data that showed the same thing: though the numbers were different, conservatives outnumbered liberals in every state. Six months later, Gallup presented new polling numbers which showed that conservatives outnumbered liberals in every state but Rhode Island. One year ago, in February 2011, Gallup again showed polling data which revealed that in every single state, conservatives outnumbered liberals. Then, in February 2012, the Gallup Poll showed that in every state except Massachusetts, conservatives outnumbered liberals.
Gallup is not the only polling organization to reach this conclusion:
The Battleground Poll, conducted by George Washington University in collaboration with a Democrat and a Republican polling organization, also has published the ideological self-identification of Americans. The latest Battleground Poll has just been released, and the pattern in the latest Battleground Poll is identical to the previous twenty-one polls over the last ten years.
In the latest poll, 58% of Americans describe themselves as “very conservative” or “somewhat conservative,” while only 37% of Americans describe themselves as “very liberal” or “somewhat liberal.” The “moderate” or “don’t know” remain as in past polls very small, at 2% for both of those groups. Moreover, conservative Americans are much more conservative than liberal Americans are liberal. So, while 61% of Americans who identify themselves as conservative or liberal pick “conservative,” when asked if they are “very conservative” or “very liberal,” 68% of those strongly ideological Americans are “very conservative” while only 32% are “very liberal.”
Such findings are not often reported widely in the media and the conclusions related to political strategy to be drawn from them are even less often voiced. Instead we are told that conservatives can only win if they water down their conservative convictions and tailor their message to the supposedly moderate majority. What are we make of such advice if the majority of Americans actually self-identify as conservatives?
There are two conclusions to be drawn from this finding. The first is that forming a conservative message is not just a good way to advance conservatism, but it is also a winning political strategy. The majority of self-identified conservatives need to see a message of conservatism clearly articulated if they are to mobilize behind a candidate, or slate of candidates. Or, as Ronald Reagan stated in 1975, conservative politicians need to “Raise a banner of bold colors, not pale pastels”. The other lesson to be drawn from these polls is the enduring nature of conservatism.
Despite the fact that the majority of media outlets arguably lean to the left, not to mention academia, our public school system, the entertainment industry, etc., the majority of Americans still self-identify as conservatives. Conservatives need to encourage this trend by making the conservative message more available to the American majority. Beyond elections, we need to find more avenues with which to promote conservatism.
There is no reason why we should not be able to solidify America’s conservative leaning even further, whether on the Democrat or Republican side of the aisle.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Robert Maynard is Vermont Project Director of "Freedom Rising," a grass roots organization dedicated to ensuring that Freedom continues to rise in America.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Saturday night's #GOPDebate brought to you by the word 'liar'

February 13, 2016  11:07 PM

The debate isn’t actually finished yet, so we don’t yet have a transcript to use to count the uses of the word “lie” and its variations, especially as the formal questions began to wind up. If we were paying attention, it was Donald Trump who called Ted Cruz “nasty” and maybe more of a liar than […]

The post Saturday night’s #GOPDebate brought to you by the word ‘liar’ appeared first on twitchy.com.

'If Xanax took Xanax': Ben Carson's time to speak softly is over

February 13, 2016  10:22 PM

Ben Carson, who was once cruising in the polls right behind Donald Trump, is wearing thin as he complains about being ignored by debate moderators.

The post ‘If Xanax took Xanax’: Ben Carson’s time to speak softly is over appeared first on twitchy.com.

Justice Antonin Scalia's death sets 'land-speed record' for turning political

February 13, 2016  07:02 PM

It's unfortunate that Justice Scalia's death has turned from mourning to debating so quickly, but it was also inevitable, particularly in an election year.

The post Justice Antonin Scalia’s death sets ‘land-speed record’ for turning political appeared first on twitchy.com.

'Reset button really worked out well': Medvedev contradicts WH's talking points on Russia

February 13, 2016  04:27 PM

Reset button returned to sender.

The post ‘Reset button really worked out well’: Medvedev contradicts WH’s talking points on Russia appeared first on twitchy.com.

'More than a year later': Hellfire missile mistakenly sent to Cuba has reportedly been returned to U.S.

February 13, 2016  02:43 PM

"After they've thoroughly studied the missile."

The post ‘More than a year later’: Hellfire missile mistakenly sent to Cuba has reportedly been returned to U.S. appeared first on twitchy.com.

10 year FSM Anniversary

FSM Archives

More in PUBLICATIONS ( 1 OF 25 ARTICLES )