Are Liberals Taking Over?

September 27th, 2013

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Immigration reform. Defunding the ACA. Marriage for gay couples.

Polls suggest there’s a gulf between Republicans and the public. And some Democrats have become emboldened, arguing that a new, liberal, Democratic majority has arrived.

Over the past few short weeks, everything from Syria to de Blasio to Summers has been touted as evidence of the growing strength of liberals. In a sprawling tome, Peter Beinart weaves all of these threads together, arguing that Occupy Wall Street should be the Democratic playbook and Sen. Elizabeth Warren should be the QB come 2016. President Obama? He’s been put on the Clinton DINO bench.

All of this is based on the prognosticators’ faith that what voters really want is a “real” Democrat. Translation? Liberal ideologue.

But what if that’s not what voters want? In our report on the new electorate, we examine ideology and partisanship among key growing demographic groups—Hispanic, Asian, and Millennial voters. We found that they are not overwhelmingly liberal, nor have they aligned strongly with the Democratic Party.

Ideology

Liberal Moderate Conservative
Hispanics 30% 31% 32%
Asians 31% 37% 24%
Millennials 28% 38% 28%

Source: Pew Research Center 

Partisanship

Democrat Independent Republican
Hispanics 32% 50% 13%
Asians 33% 34% 18%
Millennials 31% 45% 18%

Source: Pew Research Center and Gallup

Despite the temptations of recent events, Democrats should heed this data and be cautious to not take the support of Hispanic, Asian, and Millennial voters for granted. Independents and moderates represent large swaths of these groups, and of voters overall. Republicans may have ceded the center recently, but if history is any guide, they will adapt. And when they do, Democrats need to be ready.