The latest Gallup poll shows more Americans identify as “conservative” (40 percent) rather than “moderate” (36 percent) or “liberal.” While these self-descriptions shouldn’t be conflated with support for the Republican Party — there are plenty of self-described conservatives in the Democratic Party, for instance — the Obama administration may be forcing a modest rightward trend.
Gallup notes that between 2005 and 2008, moderates and conservatives were tied as the “most prevalent group” ideologically. That coincides with the time period when George W. Bush’s popularity went into the basement and stayed there for the rest of his presidency. During this period, some people who might have previously embraced the conservative label. Since June 2009, conservatives have narrowly outnumbered moderates again and the latest poll shows a 6-point increase in the number of independents describing themselves as conservatives.