TDS co-editor Bill Galston sees signs of trouble in the latest opinion polls. Here’s his take in a New Republic commentary:
The current state of American politics presents a paradox. On the one hand, survey after survey testifies to the rock-bottom standing of the Republican Party. Fewer Americans identify with the party than in the past, and fewer trust it to deal with the country’s problems. On the other hand, there are hard-to-ignore signs of a conservative resurgence. A 15,000 person Gallup survey out today shows that 40 percent of Americans now identify themselves as conservative (up from 37 percent at the time of Obama’s election), while only 20 percent regard themselves as liberal (down from 22 percent). Far more independents (35 percent) consider themselves conservative than was the case a year ago (only 29 percent).
These findings would be less compelling if they were not linked to conservative shifts on specific issues–but they are, and the Gallup organization enumerates a considerable list. Among them: increasing opposition to government regulation of business and gun ownership; an uneasy feeling about the influence of labor unions; increasing support for immigration restrictions and government promotion of traditional values; and diminished support for strong action on climate change. The percentage of Americans who believe that government is trying to do too much stands at its highest level (57 percent) in many years. Trust in government is near all-time lows, and Americans believe that 50 cents of every federal tax dollar is wasted–the highest level ever.
Read the rest of his commentary here: