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Gallup reports nearly all political and demographic subgroups show an increase in conservative identification on social issues

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A greater proportion of Americans than at any point in the past decade consider themselves to be conservative on social issues.

This morning, Gallup released the results of a fascinating study that offers insight into the growing number of Americans who identify as conservative on social issues, including abortion. The results are based on Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs survey, conducted between 1 May and 24 May. This information was provided by Jeffrey M. Jones. In the past, the findings of the survey have been presented in a series of subsequent reports. It is indeed an intriguing finding.

We return to the case of Jones.

More Americans say they are very conservative or conservative on social issues this year (38%) than in 2022 (33%) and 2021 (30%). At the same time, the proportion who say they are very liberal or liberal on social issues has fallen from 34% in each of the past two years to 29%, while the proportion who describe themselves as moderate (31%) remains close to a third.

The last time this many Americans described themselves as socially conservative was in 2012, during a period when more US adults consistently identified as conservative than liberal on social issues.

Indeed, Jones notes that nearly all political and demographic subgroups have exhibited an increase in conservative identification on social issues over the past two years. The Republican Party has experienced one of the most significant increases, rising from 60% in 2021 to 74% today. The proportion of independents has increased by five percentage points, from 24% to 29%. In contrast, there has been no change among Democrats, with 10% of respondents identifying as such in both 2021 and 2023.

According to Jared Gans of The Hill, Gallup had not identified as many social conservatives since 2012. This was a period when respondents consistently identified more as conservative than liberal on social issues. Gans further observed that the proportion of Republicans who self-identify as socially conservative has increased significantly over the past two years, rising from 60% to 74%.

What, according to Gallup, is the most significant finding?

For most of the past eight years, Americans have been about as likely to describe themselves as liberal as conservative on social issues. This year, the conservative advantage is more pronounced. The shift is largely due to increasing social conservatism among Republicans at a time when social issues … such as abortion and other hot-button concerns are prominent in the national public debate.

In considering the future, Jones postulates that greater social conservatism may be conducive to the enactment of conservative-leaning social legislation, particularly in states where the Republican Party holds a dominant position. Indeed, over the past year, numerous Republican-controlled states have enacted more restrictive legislation pertaining to abortion and other social issues.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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