Pop culture and media may tilt left, but Americans were much more likely to self-identify as conservatives rather than liberals in 2013, according to a Gallup poll released on Friday.
The poll—part of Gallup’s “State of the States” survey that randomly samples 178,527 adults living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia—found 38 percent of Americans say they are conservative, while 34 percent claim to be moderates, and 23 percent are liberals.
That’s a slight shift from 39 percent of Americans identifying themselves as conservatives in 2012, with 35 percent saying they were moderates and 22 percent were liberals. Gallup attributed part of the uptick with more Democrats embracing the term “liberal” and liberal ideologies.
But Genevieve Wood, senior contributor to The Foundry, doubted that the “liberal label” is on the rise. “The president and Democrats, to the extent they label themselves or their policies as anything, typically use the term ‘progressive,’” she said, pointing to the President’s recent State of the Union address that promoted “opportunity for all” much more than “income inequality.”
While there were more “blue” states than “red” states in 2013, a clear majority of Americans are ideologically at the center or right of center, Gallup said. The highest concentration of American conservatives is in the South and West, with the top five states including Wyoming, Mississippi, Idaho, Utah, and Montana. The top five liberal areas are the District, Vermont, Massachusetts, Delaware, and New York.
Only three states (Vermont, Massachusetts and Hawaii) and the District have a liberal advantage over conservatives, with moderates outpacing both categories in 20 states, Gallup reported. Even New York had more participants who said they were conservative (29.3 percent) than liberal (28.2 percent).
In other breaking news Friday about conservatives and liberals, TheWeek.com highlighted a new study from the Journal of Wine Economics that found alcohol consumption in US states rises as the population’s politics become more liberal. “These findings are consistent with other recent studies in other parts of the world showing that people with socialist views tend to drink more,” TheWeek.com economics and business correspondent John Aziz wrote.