- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Americans still identify themselves as more conservative than liberal when it comes to economic and social issues, but that edge has slipped in recent years, Gallup said.

The pollsters found that 34 percent of Americans say they are conservative, 35 percent are moderate and 30 percent are liberal on social matters. On the economy, 42 percent say they are conservative, 34 percent say moderate, and 21 percent say liberal.

The 4-point lead on social issues and 21-point lead on economic ideology are the smallest advantages Gallup has measured in its 14 years of asking Americans to described their views on both topics.

However, Gallup also measured a 21-point economic advantage for conservatives in 2007 and 2008.

Gallup said the trend began as far back as 2004 for social issues and 2007 for economic matters, although the slide was briefly interrupted when President Obama took office and passed the Affordable Care Act.

“In those years, the percentage of Americans describing themselves as conservative on the two dimensions moved back up, most likely in reaction to their perceptions of the more liberal administration,” Gallup said. “Since then, however, the trends have continued moving in a less conservative direction.”

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