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Forum Post: How Many Conse**(R)**vatives Are There

Posted 2 years ago on Oct. 18, 2012, 11:22 p.m. EST by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT
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Are the Majority of Americans Conservative?

By Jonathan Bernstein - - - February 16, 2012 8:30 AM

There are a few ways to look at this. Politifact concentrated on self-identification polling, which shows far more American self-identify as conservative than as liberal, and decided that the plurality lead for “conservative” in those polls is at least close to Rubio’s “majority” claim. At a narrowly literal level — and that’s not a crazy level for Politifact to use in many cases — that’s not an unreasonable position. And yet the political difference between a nation in which a group makes up over 50% of the electorate and one in which that group is at around 40% is quite significant.

One could look at it another way, which is to get beyond self-identification to go to whether people believe in conservative concepts or not. But then it gets very tricky, as can be seen easily in from the speech Politifact was fact-checking. Rubio actually said: The majority of Americans are conservatives — they believe in things like the Constitution. I know that’s weird to some people…” Politifact ignored that context of Rubio’s comment, turning it into a narrow question of self-identification. But that’s not actually what Rubio was saying. He’s making a political claim that believing in the Constitution makes one a conservative. But that’s, on the surface false — virtually all Americans, liberals included, believe in the Constitution. Or it’s false in a different way: if Rubio is going to say that believing in the Constitution means believing in a particular interpretation of the Constitution, then those who do so may all be conservatives, but now we’re talking about a very small group of Americans who are well-versed in the controversies about Constitutional interpretation. Or it’s just a claim not open to fact-checking, that most Americans would agree with Rubio’s version of the Constitution if they thought about it. Or one could understand the statement as a rhetorical device. That’s not a bad thing for someone to point out (it seems to be a staple of 6th grade education), but it has nothing to do with how many Americans self-identify as conservatives, and selecting out that portion of the statement to fact-check seems, really, sort of perverse).

Moreover, one could point out that the real answer here is none of the above: Americans are not liberal, conservative, or moderate in their ideology, because most Americans aren’t ideological at all. That’s one of the classic findings in political science studies of voters. Americans are, indeed, partisan — but they don’t think in ideological terms.

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this is bullshit

7 Comments

7 Comments


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[-] 2 points by WSmith (1429) from Cornelius, OR 2 years ago

Remember, when America began there was an angry, obstinate minority (Royalists - Loyalists) who loved the King, craved authoritarianism and wanted nothing to do with democracy or independence. These were the ancestors of today's RepubliCons.

http://open.salon.com/blog/john_patrick_gallagher/2009/10/25/why_righteous_righties_and_liberal_lefties_will_never_agree

http://www.liberalfix.com/2011/05/song-video-when-did-jesus-become.html

http://www.alternet.org/story/39275/the_authoritarian_streak_in_the_conservative_movement

Real time fact checking "As I predicted after Romney 'won' the first debate that he would have a hard time in the subsequent debates once he was on the record with his new set of lies. Obama was ready for him this time and Romney showed his contempt for 'the help' questioning him on his lies. He came very close to demonstrating why Ann is concerned about his mental health if he's elected.

"The corporate media obliged the right by ginning up the story that both men hate each other. You don't have to hate a meth rat to hit it with a stick. It's Willard that 'hates' since he doesn't have any rational reason to lie like he does. The lies have to serve a higher purpose, it can't be simple greed or lust for power. His lessers are the enemy and must be stopped. This is of course the Republican meme, the 'takers' are out to get them. The 47% can't be reasoned with, they must be brought under control by a strong leader." http://www.prairie2.com/

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[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Independents make up about 47 million Democrats 42 million Republicans 38 million....

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[-] 2 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Actually its a political affiliation.

NPA are the real independent ones.

Keep in mind, people like Vkag claim to be registered indie.

[+] -4 points by Grimreaper2 (-318) 2 years ago

Conservatives/ waaaa/evil garbage/whine/giggle/repelicans suck/ Harry potter is cool!/ Whaaaaaaaaaaa!/pay attention to me/ conservatives control everything/snivel/women will be slaves if repelicans win/ mother FUCK don't you people see that the democrats and the MESSIAH sure the only hope!!!!

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