Once again, we see that despite claims of an emerging liberal majority, Americans primarily report that their views are moving rightward. The most recent Gallup poll on the subject is quite illuminating:
Despite the results of the 2008 presidential election, Americans, by a 2-to-1 margin, say their political views in recent years have become more conservative rather than more liberal, 39% to 18%, with 42% saying they have not changed. While independents and Democrats most often say their views haven’t changed, more members of all three major partisan groups indicate that their views have shifted to the right rather than to the left.
These findings, from a June 14-17 Gallup Poll, somewhat conform to Gallup’s annual trends on Americans’ self-defined political ideology. Thus far in 2009 (from January through May), 40% of Americans call themselves conservative, up from 37% in 2007 and 2008, and the highest level since 2004.
As Gallup points out, the fact that the Democrats are winning elections despite the rightward trend of the country as a whole has more to do with the beating the GOP brand has taken than it does with any increased leftward trend on the part of the country. Since graphs are fun to look at, let’s take a look at the graphs provided by Gallup to visualize the results:
So, what do Republicans have to do in order to take advantage of this situation? Restore the brand, restore the brand, restore the brand, restore the brand, and restore the brand. Take a look at what policy priorities Americans view as important, see how it fits into the conservative agenda, and hammer on those priorities until blue in the face, and until Americans see that the prime policy objectives of the GOP coincide with those of the conservative movement as a whole, which in turn, coincide with the objectives the American people want to see fulfilled.
That’s how politicians are supposed to use polls, after all. Polls don’t exist to tell politicians what to think. Rather, they exist to show politicians how best to make an argument. Republicans would be crazy not to take note of Gallup’s big, fat, unmistakable hints on how to lay out their case before the American people.