The proportion of Americans who describe their political views as "right of center" has grown since 1976, with a corresponding decline in those whose views are "left of center."
In the latest Gallup survey, 36 percent of respondents place themselves to the right of center, 18 percent are left of center and 46 percent indicate a middle-of-the-road position. In 1976, 31 percent leaned to the right, 24 percent to the left and 45 percent embraced the middle.
The trend toward the right parallels a substantial increase in the proportion of Americans claiming affiliation with the Republican Party. This proportion, just before President Reagan's landslide reelection, reached a level not seen since the Eisenhower era of the 1950s. Concurrently, the proportion of the electorate expressing allegiance to the Democratic Party is as low as it has been at any point since the end of World War II.
In four Gallup surveys conducted from early Sep- tember until the week before the Nov. 6 election, 35 percent of voters classified themselves as Republicans, 39 percent as Democrats and 25 percent as independents.
The latest findings on political ideology are based on interviews with 1,509 adults, 18 and older, conducted in more than 300 scientifically selected localities across the nation during the Nov. 9-12 period.