June 14th, 2010
11:01 AM ET
5 years ago

Poll: 49 percent say Democrats too liberal

Washington (CNN) - Nearly half of Americans say the Democratic party is too liberal, according to a new poll.

A USA Today/Gallup poll indicates that 49 percent of the public think the political views of the Democratic party are too liberal, up ten points from two years ago and the highest level since 1994, when the Republican party grabbed back control of both houses of Congress in that year's midterm elections.

Thirty-eight percent of respondents say the Democrats' policies are about right, down 12 points from 2008, with one in ten saying the party's views are too conservative.

According to the poll, 41 percent say the political views of the Republican party are about right, with four in ten saying they're too conservative and 15 percent saying the polices of the GOP are too liberal. Views of the Republican party are nearly unchanged from two years ago.

"In many respects, 2010 is shaping up to be another 1994 for the Democrats, including the results of this poll," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The question is whether the GOP is positioned to capitalize on the Democrats' weakness. The number who think the Republican party is too conservative is six points higher than it was in 1994. Few political junkies believe that the Democrats can avoid big losses in this midterm election, but it's less clear whether those losses will be big enough to flip either the House or the Senate."

The USA Today/Gallup poll was conducted May 24-25, with 1,049 adults questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.


Filed under: Democrats • Poll • Popular Posts
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Mesa Mick

    Two things...

    A "liberal" government is always the enemy until you need them, and...

    The talking political heads who make a living making predictions about elections are trying to gin up "drama" by constantly bleating and braying hysterically that It's "gonna be 1994 all over again for the dems!!!" Oh yeah? Funny the last 2 big primary dates didn't turn out anywhere near that way...

    Guess the CNN "political commentators" are worried about their jobs too so make stuff up to heat things up, right?

    June 14, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. tcaudilllg

    You keep up with those attacks on the Democratic Party, CNN. Funny, I sure don't remember any polls done in 2006 about whether the Republican Party was too conservative, or this year either... hmmm!

    June 14, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  3. Leslie

    Then I guess that means that 51% don't. So we're still in the majority!

    June 14, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. William Jefferson

    The natural follow up would be to ask them to define liberal and conservative. From what i have heard in conversations 9 out of 10 would not be able to answer.

    Don't you want to vomit at these "clean coal" ads? We had a guest lecture from a phsics prof from UPenn. He was talking about the physics of global warming and alternative energy. one of the kids asked him what "clean coal" means because he keeps seeing it in ads. The professor took a few minutes to go into the physics of burning coal, some of the technologies proposed, none of which has yet worked. Then he chhuckeled and said, in short, clean coal is an ad slogan, it has no basis in reality.

    June 14, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  5. Off my meds

    Thank goodness the president is moderate.

    June 14, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  6. Stacie

    I love how the "no big government" folks are now screaming because they want the "big government" to solve the oil spill that was caused by lax regulations and no oversight on a big multinational corporation. People don't want to pay taxes, but they sure want government there when a private corporation creates a big mess in their backyard.

    You can't want government out of your life and then want it to rush in and solve your current problem.

    June 14, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. KidCanada

    That means 51% think they are not too liberal!

    June 14, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  8. Stacie

    To everyone complaining the President Obama hasn't done enough during the BP disaster (only going to the gulf coast 3 times, not meeting one on one with the CEO of BP, not showing enough emotion, etc...), check out how many times George Bush Sr went to Alaska or met with the CEO of Exxon or held any press conferences about what the federal government was doing to help prevent or fix the Exxon Valdez oil spill. You can look it up, or I can just tell you the answer is ZERO....

    You nutbags have such a short memory and you allow right wing radio and Faux news to tell you want to think.

    June 14, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. Ann

    The Obama Democrats are getting dumber and dumber. Look how they blame the electronic voting machine in South Carolina. Wasn't the same voting machine that gave Obama 55% of the votes in the 2008 primaries? Let Al Greene make history, why not? You Liberals like that.

    June 14, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. Michael

    This is further proof that the majority of people in this country are moderates. Liberals and noecons, take note!

    June 14, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    So what you're saying is that 50%, i.e., MORE THAN 49%, believe the Dems are either right on target or too far right. And, more to the point, that the country is pretty much exactly split on the issue. Add in a few statistics showing just how misinformed people are regarding the proper characterization of the political spectrum and poof, then adjust for the fact that a certain large percent would think the Dems too far left no matter what unless the Dems suddenly declared a merger with the GOP, and the whole thing turns out to be 100% fluff.

    Kudos to CNN for yet another misleading headline designed to sensationalize a non-existing controversy.

    June 14, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. CommonSense

    Basically, these polls are not accurate nor does this article have valueable information! Everytime the media write stories predicting the Democrats are in trouble and the Republicans are going to have big pick ups, never come to pass!.....Please stop making the crazy predictions and conduct a real poll with the general public...frm the 1st time voters, college students, young adults all the way to senior citizens....No one in their right mind wants to relive the Bush/Republican years!!!!!!

    June 14, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Whomever runs these polls must mostly target conservative Republicans. I find it refreshing to have someone in the White House who isn't the puppet of the religious right that is run by conservatives. Eight years of it was just too much! What's wrong with being liberal, anyway? We aren't evil people who love war and disasters like the right protrays us as being. We simply do not like being told what to do, how to think, or forced to be frugal and conservative! The right loves to complain how we try to force our idea onto everyone. Well, just what do they think that they are doing to the rest of the country? They are changing the history books to slant their way, and that's not right! Liberals unite against the conservative movement! Vote your mind and heart.

    June 14, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  14. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Here is my question – what percentage of the respondants who said the Democratic Party is too liberal were Republicans?
    If it were to be broken down further, what percentage of Democrats said the party is too Liberal? What percentage if Independents?
    Looking at it one way, based on their own margin of error, it could be between 45 and 53% who feel that way.
    Then there are those of us who feel that the Democratic party has become too centrist, getting away from the ideals of the New Deal and the Great Society. Since the mid 90's the Democrats have allowed the Republicans to get what they wanted by the Republicans standing their ground and forcing the Democrats to bend. Have the Democrats forgotten that they are in the majority? They may need some Republican support, but if what they are doing is for the betterment of society, they should stand on principal and call the Republicans out for the obstructionist reactionaries that they are.

    June 14, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  15. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    another idiotic and meaningless poll.... terms like "liberal" and "conservative" mean nothing without a specific context.

    June 14, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. Thomas

    CNN: why the inconsistancy in how you report the numbers?

    In some cases you post the number e,g., 49 percent
    In some cases you post the number spelled out e.g., Thirty-eight percent
    In some cases you use a ratio e.g., Four in ten.

    Is this just lazyness or are you trying to influence the reader in to not recognizing the simularity of the different results?

    June 14, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. Liz the First

    How many would say Jesus was too liberal??? Liberal is not a dirty word, the conservatives tried to make it one. when you read the true definitions of 'liberal' and 'conservative,' you quickly understand which is good for this country and its people and which isn't. if we had listened to the conservatives back in 1776, we'd still be singing God Save the Queen! i don't think we have enough true liberals in the Democratic party. the so-called blue dogs have traitorously voted with republican'ts to slow down the recovery from the bush disaster. we had a lock on the congress and could've done so many good things for this country and the world but the DINO's in our own party stopped major progress. they should be ashamed to show their faces and i hope they're all voted out!

    June 14, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  18. thebassguy

    49% too liberal
    49% not liberal enough
    2% dems are just right

    great poll. oy.

    June 14, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  19. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    WRONG! They are not liberal enough! The conservatives destroyed this country!

    June 14, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  20. ccm123

    I find this poll funny because frankly, they are not liberal enough. A lot of Democrats are pro life, pro guns, and fiscally conservative like the blue dogs. And Obama? He too is not liberal enough. I laugh when they say he is a socialist. He is a corporatist, just like previous presidents, he is just a different one. Remember "Robust Public Option?" That turned into a giveaway for the healthcare industry. You didn't see too many commercials about the healthcare reform bill once the public option was off the table did you?

    June 14, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  21. GL

    In many respects, 2010 is shaping up to be another 1994 for the Democrats, including the results of this poll," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The question is whether the GOP is positioned to capitalize on the Democrats' weakness. The number who think the Republican party is too conservative is six points higher than it was in 1994. Few political junkies believe that the Democrats can avoid big losses in this midterm election, but it's less clear whether those losses will be big enough to flip either the House or the Senate."
    ------------------------------------–
    Sorry CNN your polls have been wrong and the past so I don't read to much into your polling. Keep dreaming the dems will keep the House, Senate and the White House for a long time.

    June 14, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  22. Twainland

    Do 49% of Americans know what being liberal means?

    June 14, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
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