Republicans More Conservative Than Democrats Are Liberal
And the ideological split between parties continues to widen, new Council polling shows.
- More than two-thirds of Republicans identify as conservative (77%).
- Just over half of Democrats identify as liberal (58%).
- Democrats have become more liberal over time, while the proportion of Republicans who identify as conservative has held steady.
From climate change to immigration, Republicans and Democrats find themselves far apart on key issues facing the United States. How much ideological consensus is there within party supporters themselves?
Meanwhile, Democrats have become more liberal over time (58% in 2022 compared to 44% in 2004), though the party is still somewhat split between ideologically liberal and moderate or conservative members (42% in 2022).
What’s clear: fewer Americans find themselves near the center of the ideological spectrum. As they continue to drift toward opposite poles, a middle ground will be even harder to find.
This analysis is based on data from the 2022 Chicago Council Survey of the American public on foreign policy, a project of the Lester Crown Center on US Foreign Policy. The 2022 Chicago Council Survey was conducted July 15–August 1, 2022, by Ipsos using its large-scale nationwide online research panel, KnowledgePanel, in both English and Spanish among a weighted national sample of 3,106 adults 18 or older living in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia. The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/- 1.8 percentage points. The margin of error is higher for partisan subgroups or for partial-sample items.
Partisan identification is based on how respondents answered a standard partisan self-identification question: “Generally speaking, do you think of yourself as a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, or what?” Ideology is based on the question, “In general do you think of yourself as:”
|moderate, middle of the road||19||33||51||36|
The 2022 Chicago Council Survey is made possible by the generous support of the Crown family and the Korea Foundation.
Chicago Council data show that some key foreign policy issues have the potential to disrupt Democratic Party unity.
But public opinion is sharply divided along partisan lines, 2022 Chicago Council Survey data finds.
Republicans see immigration as a critical threat to the country, say restricting immigration makes the US safer, and support using US troops to stop migrants from crossing into the United States. Democrats, on the other hand, do not consider immigration a critical threat, and their views on policy actions substantially and consistently differ from Republicans.
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