Less voters are identifying as liberal ahead of the midterm elections, according to a Morning Consult poll released Thursday.
Voters identifying as "very liberal," "liberal" or "somewhat liberal" on a 7-point scale has dropped over the past five years, from 34% to 27%, according to the survey, which has polled more than 8.6 million U.S. voters since 2017, the first year of Donald Trump's presidency.
"The historical march has been that 'liberal' is gradually increasing as the secular, college-educated population has increased in a way that's been divorced from thermostatic forces," said Democrat data scientist David Shor, referring to the political science theory about voters turning against the party in power. "If it's thermostatic backlash, thermostatic backlash affecting ideological identification is new."
The poll also found:
- The percentage of Black voters identifying as liberal went down from 49% to 34% over the past five years.
- Liberal identification among Hispanic voters dipped from 50% to 34%.
- The share of young people — ages 18-34 — who identify as liberal has dropped more than the other age groups.
"In 2020, with all the talk of a Hispanic shift, and an African-American shift to a lesser degree, it was really kind of a shift among Hispanic conservatives," Republican pollster Patrick Ruffini said. "It was like, people already have this fixed ideological predisposition, and they're just aligning that to their vote choice.
"But what's also happening, and reinforcing that, is the underlying ideological tendencies are also shifting in conjunction with, or caused by, vote choice."
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