Pew Research Center survey on the American Political Spectrum

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ColoradoGuy, May 6, 2011.

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According to the Pew Center Study, where do you fit?

Poll closed May 21, 2011.
  1. Solid Liberals

    66.7%
  2. Hard-Pressed Democrats

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. New Coalition Democrats

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Post-Moderns

    6.7%
  5. Disaffecteds

    13.3%
  6. Libertarians

    6.7%
  7. Main Street Republicans

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Staunch Conservatives

    6.7%
  9. Bystanders

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. ColoradoGuy

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    The Pew Research Center released a report on 04 May titled "Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology". If you can muster the energy required to read it's 30+ pages, you can find it here. It was synopsized in several papers yesterday, but was sort of overshadowed by the continuing news coverage of OBL's death in Pakistan.

    The study divides the traditional red and blue worlds into nine sub-groups:
    Solid Liberals -- probably the bluest of the blue and generally secular; pro-government; supportive of social change.
    Hard-Pressed Democrats -- cynical about government in general and socially conservative; see immigrants as a cultural threat.
    New Coalition Democrats -- pro-government and pro-religious.
    Post-Moderns -- still Democratic, but generally support the government and think that business isn't all bad.
    Disaffecteds -- very critical of business and government; conservative in social policy.
    Libertarians -- economically conservative and socially liberal.
    Main Street Republicans -- highly critical of government, less pro-business than staunch conservatives, but opposed to most social causes (abortion rights, same-sex marriage, immigration, social welfare).
    Staunch Conservatives -- the reddest of the red; extremely critical of government, think Obama is foreign-born, pro-business and against government regulation; strongly against abortion, same-sex marriage.
    And, last but not least:
    Bystanders -- as the name implies, disaffected and non-voting.
    Of course, the Pew team used a fairly lengthy survey to group people and it's nearly impossible to just lump yourself into one of these groups reading these brief descriptions. But, for those of you who are interested, take a look at the study or at the synopsis in your favorite paper. I am including a link to the Denver Post synopsis here because I've been privately criticized for relying too much on 'liberal east coast media platforms' (aka NYT, Washington Post). [It's my fault I prefer analysis to fluff?]

    After you've had a chance to review the study or to take the Pew's self-test to determine your affiliation, tell me where you fit in the political spectrum as the Pew Center outlines it. If you use the self-test, tell me if you think Pew's categorization pegged you correctly or incorrectly.

    A firm understanding of your own beliefs and biases is critical to discussing or debating any issue. So, (with apologies to Nestea) take the plunge.
     
  2. Industrialsize

    Staff Member Moderator Gold Member

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    I took the test and came in as a Solid Liberal. (I guess that's as far left as this poll goes)
     
  3. SilverTrain

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    Test result: Solid Liberal.

    It's obviously a simplistic test.* Although, given the descriptions of the other categories, I'm not sure where else I'd fall. Post-moderns, possibly?




    * Doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't yield accurate results, though.
     
  4. lucidbass

    lucidbass New Member

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    Libertarian. I always score libertarian and I comfortably describe myself as such.
     
  5. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    Weird test.
    Definitely not a "solid liberal" despite the description since I have voted and supported a few Republican candidates in the past. Definitely not "hard pressed" either, since although it's healthy to have some level of intrigue when it comes to the government I'm not so suspicious of them to be as cynical as other people tend to be... on top of that I'm not "socially conservative" either. "New Coalition" isn't my forté either since I have many issues with organized religion. Post-Moderns is the closest I can get, but I also know that some of our business practices need a do-over.

    I took the test and it said I was a "Solid Liberal". I guess... :confused:
     
  6. phillyhangin

    phillyhangin New Member

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    According to the test, I'm a Solid Liberal. I'm not sure that it's a good fit though, because my politics is somewhere in the center. As others have mentioned, it's a fairly simplistic either/or test, whereas I tend to see things as shades of gray; in fact, for some of the questions, my answer was "I agree with both" - except that that wasn't a choice. A stronger test would've allowed either five or seven choices ranging from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree" for each statement.

    In keeping with their category descriptions, I'd have to say that I'm a "Disaffected Solid Liberal": I'm critical of both business and government (neither is all good nor all bad), but I'm in no way socially conservative; in fact, I'm highly secular and I support social change (when something isn't working, fix it!) without being "pro-government" in the sense that I believe that the government - and only the government - is the answer to all of our problems (which is what it seems to mean here).

    The "Libertarian" label sounds like a good description of me (at least on the surface) - I tend to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal - except that here "fiscally conservative" seems to mean "pro-business" in the "greed is good, regulations are evil" sense of the term; I'm far too suspicious of large multinationals to identify with that. :wink:
     
  7. lucidbass

    lucidbass New Member

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    'Libertarians' tend to be the most suspiscious of large multinationals. Obama, who is supposedly 'on the far left' and the polar opposite libertarian ideals got the most corporate backing out of any of the candidates, while the only major party candidate of 2008 elections who voiced strong opinions against corporatism was a libertarian, Ron Paul.

    The problem is that those 'large multinationals' got where they are not through a 'free market' but through co-operating with the governments and the central banking system. Hence the libertarian opposition to them.
     
  8. SilverTrain

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    The only voices who've ever described Obama as being "on the far left" are Republican (partisan mouthpieces, especially).
     
  9. lucidbass

    lucidbass New Member

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    Oh yeah, hence the 'supposedly'. I think he's much of a centrist as any Democrat or Republican is.
     
  10. Cuddler

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    I also self-tested to Solid Liberal. Funny since I voted earlier this week for the first time against the Liberal candidate in my riding.
    For a Canadian equivalent, try the Vote Compass.
     
  11. midlifebear

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    Imprecise bullshit. Nowhere was anarchist mentioned.
     
  12. phillyhangin

    phillyhangin New Member

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    I agree that it wasn't the "free market" at all that allowed the large multinationals to get to where they are now, but I don't think it was from "cooperating" with the government so much as it was the result of "co-opting" the government: The large corporate interests and the banks each used their financial influence over the government to rewrite the rules in their favor. To me, the government wasn't the source of the problem, it was simply the tool that was used.

    From what I've read in some of the more outspoken Libertarian media (I even had a subscription to Reason a while back), the solutions proposed don't involve creating and enforcing regulations to block the financial influence of corporations and banks on the government in order to prevent those abuses; they seem to involve somehow getting the government "out of the way" (usually by shrinking or defunding it) so that presumably the "free market" will correct itself. Correcting the abuses that have been written into law is certainly a good thing and should be a top priority, but doing so seems pointless if we don't also create safeguards to prevent future abuses; because those safeguards would by definition be "government regulations," however, that seems to create a sticking point for many Libertarians - or at least the hardcore ones.

    That, however, is a topic for a different thread. :wink:
     
  13. ColoradoGuy

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    I think it was an odd test, too.

    Clearly, I am not a Republican on social issues: I favor Planned Parenthood over unplanned poverty and likely child neglect and I favor equality in domestic issues over legislated bigotry and discrimination. Although I am more fiscally conservative than a lot of my Democratic friends, I don't think anyone should turn social security into some sort of lottery or similarly require people to 'roll the dice' with their health care.

    Prior to taking the test, I thought I would be best described as a progressive, or in Pew-Speak as a 'Post-Modern'; I tested out as a 'Solid Liberal'.

    However, if you go into the analysis of the typologies, you start to see the very fine lines separating the groups. I did read the entire report and I found it a helpful reminder that I could support a position (for example) that tests strongly with Staunch Conservatives without being required to dislike immigrants or 'know' that same-sex marriage is wrong.

    I assume it was too much work for many to participate in this thread, but I found the responses interesting. One of more interesting things for me is what's not represented in Thread participants: no solid Republicans; in fact, with the exception of a single Libertarian and one self-professed 'Anarchist' (see, the Wonder Woman outfit gave you away midlifebear... we knew all along), there were no replies outside of the Democratic camp. Hmmm. I know ignorance is bliss, but surely self-understanding is important for everyone, isn't it?

    If you want to learn more on why the various sub-groups differ, Section 2 of the Report titled "Value Divides Within Party Coalitions" is interesting.

    Thanks for playing.
     
    #13 ColoradoGuy, May 8, 2011
    Last edited: May 8, 2011
  14. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    Some of the questions on this test lead me to think some kind of opinionated agenda was trying to take shape as well. But before I go any further, I would like to know if anyone got a different ranking that wasn't "Solid Liberal", "Post Moderns" or "Libertarian".
     
  15. ColoradoGuy

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    Well, we've only had eight or nine people self-identify, which is hardly a scientific sample. Even if we had a large percentage of LPSG respond, I think the determinations would skew 'left' simply because of the population we're presenting the self-test to. I don't think if you read Pew's methodology, you would be able to point out any intentional bias. Look at the sample sizes on that page and you'll see a fairly even distribution across the sub-groups.

    If you notice, Pew extrapolated some 'value' questions for this much smaller self-test that I imagine would tilt a particular way on this site. (The real survey was pretty long and you can see it here.) Think about it: who is going to log into LPSG, much less create a membership for the site and then proceed to belittle the gay population? (Okay... I know we have a few ardent homophobes who are only here to 'meet girls', but generally, you know what I mean.)

    It's kind of like if I went into my local Baptist church this morning and asked "Who here believes in God?" I am just betting I'd get a lot of folks raising their hand. If I then used that one question as a key determiner (again using the Pew self-test), I'm betting a lot of them would skew 'right' since religious belief is pretty heavy on the Republican values side.
     
  16. Calboner

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    I came out "solid liberal," which rather surprised me, though I had an inkling that things were going that way as I clicked on the liberal cliché in preference to the conservative cliché in one question after the other. There were several instances in which I wanted an option of declaring "Neither," but, not having that option, I chose an answer by asking myself: "Would you be more comfortable with the crowd that clicks on statement one or the crowd that clicks on statement two?" That put me with the liberal crowd in every instance.

    I then went back and took the quiz again but, on the questions that provoked the most indecision in me, clicked on the opposite statement to the one that I had chosen the first time through. I then came out as a "post-modern." As much as I dislike that term, the description associated with it seems to me a better fit.
     
  17. ColoradoGuy

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    It's interesting that we both had that same thought. I sort of did the "who would I rather associate with?" thing, too. Getting into the meat of the analysis on the poll, you'll find yourself rethinking some of your answers... for me, it was this discussion:
    But, the fact that both of us were questioning if we were really "Solid Liberals" should demonstrate the power of words -- we've heard 'liberal' denigrated so much over the past four decades that we may have actually bought into it as a negative association. I don't mind people thinking I'm a liberal when I consider some of the others in that group. In fact, here's a piece I found several years ago and have blogged about that was created in the aftermath of 9/11. While not quite a liberal apology, it provides some blunt criticism of the misappropriation of the term 'liberal'.
     
  18. B_crackoff

    B_crackoff New Member

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    I thought I was between Disaffected & Libertarian, & so polled Disaffected, though turned out to be Libertarian.

    I think Libertarians are far closer to anarchism than anything on that list. People running their own businesses & complying with various rules & regulations, whilst not accepting others freedom of conscience & thought, don't qualify as anarchists at all.
     
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