Nearly four in 10 respondents said they are conservative or very conservative on social issues, an increase from the 33 percent who said so last year. The percentage who now say they are liberal or very liberal on these issues dropped from 33 percent last year to 29 percent.
Gallup had not found as many people identifying as social conservatives since 2012, which it said was a time when respondents consistently identified more as conservative than liberal on social issues.
Among the other findings:
- The percentage of Republicans who now say they are socially conservative rose significantly in the past two years, from 60 percent to 74 percent.
- Pollsters also noted increases in the percentage across most age groups. The group of 30 to 49 saw the biggest rise, jumping 13 points from 22 percent in 2021 to 35 percent in 2023.
- Young people between 18 and 29 are also more conservative moving from 24 percent to 30 percent who describe themselves that way.
- The percentage of those aged 50 to 64 who said they are socially conservative increased 11 points in that time, from 35 percent to 46 percent.
- The overall percentage identifying as moderate remained roughly steady this year at 31 percent.
The results come as Republican-led states have pushed forward various initiatives on social issues in the past year, including many restrictive abortion bans following the overturn of Roe v. Wade and bans on gender-affirming care for transgender youth. Gallup said in its analysis that Americans were about as likely to say they are conservative on social issues as that they are liberal in the past eight years. But conservatism has a clear advantage this year, largely because of the increase among Republicans.
“Greater social conservatism may be fostering an environment more favorable to passing conservative-leaning social legislation, especially in Republican-dominated states,” the survey report said.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice