Speed Reads

changing viewpoints

Democrats have moved further left than Republicans have moved right, statistical analysis finds

Democrats have moved further to the left politically than Republicans have to the right since the 1990s, journalist Kevin Drum writes after conducting a statistical analysis of voters' viewpoints since then.

Earlier in the week, Drum posted a series of graphs that showed Democrats' stances on immigration, abortion, gay marriage, gun control, taxes, and religion have moved fairly dramatically toward a more liberal point of view, while Republicans didn't necessarily always shift toward a conservative one — they've become, on average, more supportive of same-sex marriage, for instance — and when they did move rightward, the change was milder.

On Saturday, Drum — who identifies as a liberal — synthesized the separate charts, showing where Democrats and Republicans have landed over the years on a 1 to 10 scale of his own making. with 1 being "consistently liberal" and 10 being "consistently conservative." In 1994, the average Democrat was at a 5, while the average Republican was a slightly more conservative 6. Both parties got a little more liberal in 2004, with Democrats at a 4 and Republicans just under five. By 2017, Republicans had grown more conservative, but they were still sitting at 6.5, not much higher on Drum's scale than they were in 1994. Democrats on the other had reached a 2, a more significant change from their middling 1994 position. Read more of Drum's analysis here.