Where Are Conservatives on the Political Spectrum?
Those on the right believe in small government, low taxes and limited regulation of business. They also believe in traditional social values and family structures, as well as religious conservatism.
Among Republican-oriented typology groups, Faith and Flag Conservatives are most intensely conservative across the board, while Ambivalent Right holds more moderate views. Both groups support Trump and say he should continue to be a major political figure.
Those on the Left
The left side of the political spectrum advocates for greater equality and believes that government should play a more active role in people’s lives, such as enforcing civil rights, providing healthcare and unemployment insurance. Political ideologies on the left typically include libertarianism, progressivism and socialism.
Those on the right advocate for smaller government and less regulation of business. They believe in trickle-down economics, where the government taxes high during ‘boom’ times and spends this money during ‘bust’ times.
Conservatives tend to be more partisan and have a harder time accepting the ideas of the opposing party. This is particularly true of those in the Faith and Flag and Populist Right groups, who express intensely conservative views across most policy areas and are more likely to say compromise in politics is just “selling out on what you believe in.” They also have negative views of corporations.
Those on the Right
Conservatives are generally opposed to major change in society and politics, preferring smaller government with limited regulation and a free market. They also tend to be less interested in social issues, such as same-sex marriage, and more rooted in traditional views of family and faith.
Despite this broad consensus, the US political spectrum is not as sharply defined as in many other countries. For example, a political party can shift left or right depending on its manifesto and leadership, as demonstrated by the recent shift in self-identification by Democratic voters.
Nevertheless, clear differences remain on key political issues such as the role of government, taxes, economic policy and the United States’ standing in the world. These distinctions become even more apparent when taking into account ideology. For instance, consistent conservatives are more likely than others to say the Democratic party’s policies jeopardize the country’s well-being. Similarly, consistent Republicans are more likely to think the Democratic Party has gone too far in embracing social change.
Those in Between
While the Democratic and Republican parties in the United States correspond closely with liberal and conservative ideologies, many Americans hold views that don’t fit neatly into a left-right political spectrum. For instance, the GOP is far more conservative than traditional right-wing parties in Western Europe and Canada, but there are some Republicans who lean toward the center of the party – often called RINOs or DINOs.
They generally support lower taxes and less government regulation and believe that private sector competition provides better services than public programs like free healthcare. They also tend to take a literal interpretation of the Constitution.
On a number of social and economic issues, they are closer to the right than the average web respondent. For example, they are split on whether corporations should make a fair profit and on whether government policies should reflect religious beliefs. They are also split on whether they want to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency or keep it.
Those in the Middle
Many people hold views that do not fit neatly onto a left-right political spectrum. These people and groups are often referred to as moderates.
For example, the group characterized as “Center-Right” takes positions that are socially conservative and economically liberal. These groups often favor private business, a reduction in taxes and government regulations, and support religious freedoms.
However, the Center-Right includes groups that differ widely in their views of how the government should respond to problems in society. They do not agree on whether corporations make a fair profit, whether the federal government should limit immigration or raise taxes on the rich.
They also vary in their opinions about whether the United States should withdraw from international agreements, and in their beliefs about same-sex marriage and abortion. Nonetheless, Center-Right groups have more in common with the other Republican-oriented typology groups than they do with Democrats. They are more likely than those with mixed ideological views to say most of their close friends share their political views.