Gallup: U.S. Still Leans Conservative, but Liberals Keep Recent Gains

Line graph. Since 1992, the percentage in the U.S. identifying as liberal has grown, while moderates are down.


  • Conservatives continue to outnumber liberals, 35% to 26%
  • Nine-point difference ties last year for slimmest in Gallup trends
  • For first time, majority of Democrats identify as liberal

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ assessment of their political ideology was unchanged in 2018 compared with the year prior when 35% on average described themselves as conservative, 35% as moderate and 26% as liberal. Although conservatives continue to outnumber liberals, the gap in conservatives’ favor has narrowed from 19 percentage points in Gallup’s 1992 baseline measurement to nine points each of the past two years.

Since 1992, the percentage of Americans identifying as liberal has risen from 17% then to 26% today. This has been mostly offset by a shrinking percentage of moderates, from 43% to 35%. Meanwhile, from 1993 to 2016 the percentage conservative was consistently between 36% and 40%, before dipping to 35% in 2017 and holding at that level in 2018.

These ideology figures are based on combined data from Gallup’s monthly GPSS and other standalone surveys conducted each year. The 2018 aggregate includes 13 surveys totaling more than 13,000 national adults.