Empirical Political Typology

When you give a large sample of Americans questionaires and watch how their answers cluster, you find that the following are the largest groups (defined by common patterns of survey answers) in which Americans cluster:

9% Enterprisers
11% Social Conservatives
9% Pro-Government Conservatives
11% Upbeats
9% Disaffecteds
17% Liberal
14% Conservative Democrats
10% Disadvantaged Democrats
10% Bystanders

The survey tells me that at the moment I am a “Liberal.” Huh. Big surprise there!

This group has nearly doubled in proportion since 1999, Liberals now comprise the largest share of Democrats and is the single largest of the nine Typology groups. They are the most opposed to an assertive foreign policy, the most secular, and take the most liberal views on social issues such as homosexuality, abortion, and censorship. They differ from other Democratic groups in that they are strongly pro-environment and pro-immigration, issues which are more controversial among Conservative and Disadvantaged Democrats.

Link via MeFi.

3 thoughts on “Empirical Political Typology”

  1. Amusingly, this survey continues to feed my belief that online surveys to determine political views don’t work very well. This one classifies me as an “upbeat” despite my not being consistent with their preferences in some areas.

    In different surveys online I’ve been alternately classified as… liberal, conservative democrat, and libertarian. Apparently being to the left of most Republicans and to the right of most Democrats puts a person outside of the standard categories.

  2. Well, there’s no reason you *have* to be in a cluster — “upbeat” happens to be the cluster that your preferences were closest to, but that doesn’t have to mean they were particularly close. :)

  3. Heh. As another Liberal, I thought this was pretty interesting:
    “Liberals’ use of the internet to get news is the highest among all groups (37%).”

    That seems important, but I’m not sure how.

Comments are closed.