Conservatives Democrats vs. Liberal Republicans, etc.

Question below about the details of what conservative Democrats or liberal Republicans might believe, etc. I decided to look for a few questions. I removed Independents because their sample sizes are a bit smaller. I clustered all those with socioeconomic status 17-47 as "Low" and those from 47-98 as "High." Again, I limited the sample to whites & the years 1998-2008.



Dem Repub


High Low High Low

Yes – Abortion on Demand Liberal 74.8 57.5 52.9 41.6


Moderate 55.7 37.9 45.9 34.6


Conserv 41.3 27.3 26.2 20.7

Yes – Homosexual Sex Always Wrong Liberal 12.2 21.8 40.7 58.3


Moderate 41.2 60.3 48.4 61.4


Conserv 51.3 73.2 69.4 79.5

Know God Exists Liberal 30.7 39.8 43.2 61.1


Moderate 55.2 67.4 63.4 58.7


Conserv 63.1 70.1 70.5 74.9

Make Porn Illegal Liberal 18.7 26.3 33.3 29.7


Moderate 32.7 39.3 39.8 42.6


Conserv 41.5 51.5 43.2 53.6

Approve of Not Requiring Prayer in Pubic Schools Liberal 76.5 54.1 46.4 30.1


Moderate 48.2 35.3 39.3 35.4


Conserv 38.5 28.2 42.3 29.2

Taxes on rich too low Liberal 68.2 60.9 67.9 54.4


Moderate 64.5 65.1 53.6 55.6


Conserv 67.2 68 34 35.4

Allow anti-Religionist to Speak Liberal 94.2 80.5 85.9 80.3


Moderate 83.6 67.2 81.4 76.2


Conserv 83.3 60.8 86.1 74

Allow Racist to Speak Liberal 78.3 68.3 66.9 62.2


Moderate 63.4 51.8 67.8 56


Conserv 67.1 48 72.2 59.1

Allow Communist to Speak Liberal 92.6 73.6 81.1 64.4


Moderate 74.1 57.2 75.6 57.8


Conserv 70.6 48.7 81.3 66.2

Allow Muslim Clergyman to Preach Hatred of USA Liberal 74.6 51.2 73.7 27.8


Moderate 38.9 30 49.3 29.9


Conserv 42.6 23.4 50.5 33.9

Favor Death Penalty for Murder Liberal 47.2 65.8 78 82


Moderate 75.7 77.6 78.3 80.1


Conserv 80.6 76.9 83.8 84.2

Favor Gun Permits Liberal 92.9 86 82.2 85.1


Moderate 82.5 82.9 78.3 73.3


Conserv 85.1 84 69 69.9

Courts Not Harsh Enough With Criminals Liberal 54.3 70.3 78.9 79.4


Moderate 73.3 77.3 76.1 79.6


Conserv 82.5 79.4 79.8 81.3

Favor Law Against Interracial Marriage Liberal 3 14.1 4.7 10.7


Moderate 7.9 14.9 11.3 14.6


Conserv 7.2 30.8 5.6 17.6

Women Should Take Care of Home Liberal 3.3 13.7 4.2 20.8


Moderate 9.5 12.1 13.7 18.7


Conserv 9 14 15.6 19.4

Gov. Should Improve Standard of Living Liberal 41.8 43.8 16.2 32.7


Moderate 23.3 30.7 16.9 21.3


Conserv 26.5 32 7.7 13.2

Gov. Should Help Pay for Medical Care Liberal 76.1 72.9 45.6 58.2


Moderate 53 56.4 39.4 47.2


Conserv 53.1 59 25.8 29.4

Gov. Should Aid Blacks Liberal 35 22.1 7.1 20


Moderate 12.6 10.8 6.8 11


Conserv 11.6 13.6 3.3 7.3

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There's a big gap between conservative Dems and conservative Republicans on the only economic issue listed, taxes on the rich.

On porn there's almost no difference. A lot of overlap on prayer and homosexuality. No overlap on God's existence, but not far apart. No overlap on abortion, though a bit farther apart.

It fits the conservative Dem stereotype -- socially (somewhat) conservative and economically pretty much liberal. (Even some of the Southern Dems turned Republican -- e.g. Lott -- are big-government porkbarrelers.)

There remain a lot of (state and local) Southern Democrats who usually vote Republican in federal elections. D and R are very crude classifications.

By John Emerson (not verified) on 20 Aug 2009 #permalink

Out of curiosity, what is the wording on "approve, not require prayer"?

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that no state or
local government may require the reading of the Lord's Prayer or Bible verses in public schools. What are your views on this - do you approve or disapprove of the court ruling?

Some things that stood out to me.

The high and low income diverge significantly on freedom of speech issues, regardless of party affiliation.

And the 30% figure for low income conservative democrats is remarkably high. I'm curious about the demographics of this category, specifically their geographic distribution, religion and ethnicity.

Many of the seemingly paradoxical relationships that appear when we categorize people according to whether they're "liberal" or "conservative" is because we have such an odd way of defining those criteria, and that I think is due to our intent to fit a "right versus left" spectrum,which is basically a one dimensional line, over the 2 dimensional landscape which is in fact how people experience things in our 3 dimensional world.
If one googles "poliical compass" and takes their brief "quiz" one will get a feel of just how inadequate the "liberal versus conservative" template is.