Political Typology

The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press has come out with a new report Beyond Red vs. Blue: Political Typology where ithey identify 9 types of political typologies in the US. The report found that many political attitudes have become more doctrinaire at both ends of the ideological spectrum, a polarization that reflects the current atmosphere in Washington. On the other hand, a growing number of Americans are choosing not to identify with either political party, and the center of the political spectrum is increasingly diverse. Rather than being moderate, many of these independents hold extremely strong ideological positions on issues such as the role of government, immigration, the environment and social issues. But they combine these views in ways that defy liberal or conservative orthodoxy.

This report underscores the substantial political changes that have occurred since the spring of 2005, when the previous typology was released. Today, there are two core Republican groups, compared with three in 2005, to some extent reflecting a decline in GOP party affiliation. However, Democrats have not made gains in party identification. Rather, there has been a sharp rise in the percentage of independents – from 30% in 2005 to 37% currently. Today, there are three disparate groups of independents, compared with two in 2005.

While Republicans trail the Democrats in party affiliation, they enjoy advantages in other areas: The two core GOP groups are more homogenous – demographically and ideologically – than are the three core Democratic groups. And socioeconomic differences are more apparent on the left: Nearly half of Solid Liberals (49%) are college graduates, compared with 27% of New Coalition Democrats and just 13% of Hard-Pressed Democrats.

You can find out where you fit by taking this quiz.

And the report can be read here.


3 thoughts on “Political Typology

  1. Good catch, Laci. I read the entire article and it proves that the labels D and R are too general to encompass large sections of our citizens. Our neighbors to the north use ‘conservative and liberal’ to designate their two parties, which is a bit more clear-cut.

    Our friend UptheFlag has often commented that the political attitudes of this nation are too diverse to be encapsulated into just two political parties. He further suggests that the antiquated Electoral College be abandoned. Will America come to terms with the fact that a system set up in the late 18th century doesn’t serve the needs of The People in the 21st century?

    Today in the UK people are voting to decide whether switching the electoral system from First Past the Post to the Alternative Vote in order to transform the concept of ‘democracy’ in the country. We shall see the results later, but would the U.S. ever make such moves or are we forever entrenched in an 18th century democracy?

  2. Thenk you.

    The problem is that the US system isn’t a democracy. The electoral college being a prime example of a non-democratic institution.

    While some might express opinions, I have a pretty good finger on the pulse of the US political system. It is money driven, which is why elections last so long. There are loads of sickeners that discourage better candidates from running (e.g., the birther phenomenon) in addition to the requirement of loads of money.

    It’s like the drug war, there is too much money involved in the current system for it to change.

  3. I took the quiz, but while useful, would have to offer the criticism that very few of the statements really expressed the nuance of political opinion. Obviously some rough and very general political categories needed to be determined, but I thought these were a little more black and white (literally in some cases) than it needed to be.

    Thanks Laci, and I think your observations about both the time elections take, and the role of money in elections is quite apt.

    Sadly, I think your comparison to drug wars is also likely right on (pardon the pun) the money.

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