The Washington Post

Conservatives are losing their edge — quickly

We've been writing for years about the waning brand that is the Republican Party.

But while the party has its problems, its underlying philosophy — conservatism — has remained significantly more attractive to Americans than the underlying philosophy of Democrats — liberalism.

Well, that's still true. But Americans' lean toward conservatism is also steadily dissipating, and that goes for both economic and social issues. In fact, the conservative advantage in both of those areas is as low as it has been (or lower) than at any point since the start of the 21st Century, according to Gallup.

Here are their new data:


As you can see, Americans lean conservative on social issues by just four points today. That's now within the margin of error, and it comes just four years after they had a 17-point advantage.

They also lead by 21 points on economic issues — down from 36 points in 2010 and tied for the lowest advantage of this century.

As in 2010, the GOP is approaching a midterm in which it hopes to make huge gains. This chart suggests their underlying philosophy is hardly as strong an asset as it was back then. And indeed, it's weaker than it has been at any point since Bill Clinton's presidency.

The GOP's shoddy brand is perhaps the Democrats' best hope for limited losses in 2014. The waning advantages of the conservative ideology should help in that effort, too.


Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.



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Aaron Blake · May 28, 2014

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