Poll Finds Record Numbers of Liberals

They've still got a long way to go to catch up to Americans who call themselves conservatives.

Nearly one in four Americans now describes his or her politics as liberal, a record high, though liberals are still greatly outnumbered by self-identified U.S. conservatives, 38 percent to 24 percent.

The finding by Gallup, which has been measuring ideological self-identification since 1992, probably says as much about political polarization as it does about a rising liberal movement and illuminates trends within the Democratic Party such as the base's affection for Senator Elizabeth Warren. Even as liberals are on the rise, Americans are increasingly calling themselves independents while self-identification with the Democratic Party is at a new low.


Overall, the growth of liberals have come at a cost to moderates, whose share fell to 34 percent in 2014, from 37 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 1992. Conservatives have essentially held steady, inching up from a 36 percent share in 1992. Liberals grew most, from 17 percent in 1992, and continuing to rise since President Barack Obama's election in 2008,  when they comprised 22 percent of U.S. adults. 

The findings come from aggregated telephone interviews over 15 separate Gallup polls throughout 2014, with a random sample of 16,479 adults, with a margin of error of plus or minus one percentage point.