The ideological divide between those who identify as conservative or moderate and those who identify as liberal remained constant among Americans in 2021, maintaining the narrow gap that has existed recently.
A recent poll found that 40 percent of moderates are registered Democrats, while 21 percent identify as Republicans. The remaining 39 percent are independents. These results jibe with the conventional wisdom that the GOP alienates the middle class. The poll also revealed that 18 percent of moderates say they tend to vote for Democratic candidates more often than for Republicans. However, a third of them say they vote equally for Democrats and Republicans.
Most moderates believe the government should play a role in achieving equal opportunity for all. However, they reject the idea that “the deck is stacked against people like me” as a source of insecurity.
Ideological Differences Between Democrats and Republicans
The ideological differences between Democrats and Republicans are often based on policy. For example, Democrats support the right to abortion, while Republicans support making abortions illegal. In addition, Democrats favor the idea of public health care and believe that the government should assist American families in meeting the cost of health care. Republicans, on the other hand, oppose the idea of providing universal health care.
In addition to the ideological differences between Democrats and Republicans, other differences define the two parties. For instance, Democrats are generally more liberal in their views of immigration, while Republicans are more conservative. The Democratic Party or even a moderate political party has a long history of opposing the death penalty and believes in government regulations. Republicans, on the other hand, believe that taxes should not be raised for anyone and that the free market should set wages.
Opinions on Complex Issues
According to a new poll, 40 percent of moderate political party voters consider themselves Democrats, while 21 percent see themselves as Republicans. Another 26 percent describe themselves as independent. This data suggests that moderates view both sides of complex issues as valid. While many of the self-described moderates consider themselves liberal, they are not overly liberal. Overall, they see themselves as slightly right of center ideologically. As a group, moderates represent 42 percent of Millennials and 44 percent of non-white voters.
While Democrats see themselves as the more moderate party, Republicans see themselves as the more conservative party. Both parties seem to have too many extremes and are polarizing. Moderates express dissatisfaction with the harsh tone of modern political discourse and say they avoid political discussions because they are too divisive. The poll also indicates that moderates aren’t politically disconnected, as 35 percent of respondents say they tune out from politics.
Politics Among Ideological Moderates
Politics among ideological moderates is a controversial topic. While some define themselves as moderates because they don’t care much about politics, others have a broad range of views and are difficult to categorize or appeal to politically. As a result, their opinions often contradict each other.
Conventional classifications of the electorate understate the role of ideological moderates. For example, they label people who are liberal on half of the issues as moderates. However, the authors argue that we should reconsider the notion of ideological moderates and consider their responses to multiple policy questions.
Independents’ Views on Issues
The views of independents on a range of issues are surprisingly diverse. Most describe themselves as moderates, while a small proportion identifies as liberals. The ratio of Democrats identifying as liberals has increased since 2000, while the proportion of Republicans identifying as moderates has decreased.
Most independents do not have a strong political affiliation, but they continue to lean toward one party. Among independents who do not belong to a political party, 17 percent lean toward the Democratic Party, and 13% lean toward the Republican Party. Meanwhile, 7% do not lean toward a political party at all.
Trump, as an Ideological Moderate
Some have characterized Trump as a highly controversial candidate as an ideological moderate. He supports an exception to the abortion ban, which he says is necessary to help women. The other major candidate, Marco Rubio, opposes such a policy. Trump has also criticized President George W. Bush’s comments regarding women’s health. Moreover, he says he would “knock the hell out” of ISIS. While this may seem extreme to some, it is a moderate stance.